Democracy that Delivers #100: Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio during her First U.S. Appearance as Transparency International Chair

From left: podcast guest Delia Ferreira Rubio, guest host Gregg Willhauck and host Ken Jaques

On this special 100th episode of Democracy that Delivers, Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio shares her vision regarding the global fight against corruption and spotlights innovative new approaches that appear to be working.

Dr. Ferreira Rubio is an internationally recognized political scientist from Argentina and assumed the TI chairmanship in late 2017. She says the overall scale of corruption around the world has not diminished, but some unprecedented programs in key countries hold much promise. Critical to the anti-corruption efforts: “More information, more integrity, less impunity, and less indifference,” Dr. Ferreira Rubio said.

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Closing Governance Gaps to Promote Resilient Economies in the Balkans

Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica (KAP), an aluminum plant headquartered in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo via. Reuters.

Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of capital moving from a number of authoritarian countries into emerging democracies. While in some cases this might represent wholly legitimate investment, often authoritarian governments are specifically seeking to direct the flow of these funds to achieve purposes other than purely economic. At CIPE, we define this issue as “corrosive capital” – equity, debt, and aid that both takes advantage of, and exacerbates weak governance in emerging democracies, to the further detriment of democratic and market development. Corrosive capital can distort policymakers’ incentives and decision-making, privileging the political influence of authoritarian governments over local citizens’ voices.

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Democracy that Delivers #99: Long-time CIPE Partner Jaroslav Romanchuk Discusses Evolution of Economic System in Belarus

From left: podcast guest Jaroslav Romanchuk, Caroline Elkin, guest host Eric Hontz and host Ken Jaques

On this week’s podcast, Belarussian economist Jaroslav Romanchuk discusses important reforms taking place in his home country, which has maintained many Soviet Union ideologies.

Romanchuk, Executive Director for Analytical Center “Strategy,” provides a history on the country’s move from a centrally planned economy to more market-oriented processes.

Romanchuk has worked with CIPE to form a coalition of business associations and think tanks that have successfully advocated for 450 democratic reforms in Belarus over the past decade.

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Reforms are Needed to Help Turkish Women Gain a Greater Foothold in Politics and the Workforce

A woman runs several shops and bakeries in Kızılcahamam, Central Anatolia, Turkey. Despite important strides toward gender equality, just 32 percent of working-age Turkish women participate in the labor force.

In the past several decades, Turkish women have made important strides toward gender equality. Near-equal numbers of girls and boys now receive primary education, virtually closing the education gap. Women hold approximately half of all academic positions and comprise a third of engineers and lawyers. These gains are cause for celebration, but they only tell half the story of the quest for gender equality in Turkey. Women still hold little political power, and they struggle to maintain a presence in the labor market. With only 32 percent of working-age women employed full- or part-time, Turkey ranks last in women’s workforce participation among all 35 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Moreover, women account for just 15 percent of Turkish parliamentarians and hold only one cabinet-level position.

Pinpointing the cause of women’s absence from Turkey’s economic and political arenas is no simple task. The country has legislation in place to promote women’s equality and ease the hurdles that women face when entering the labor force. However, a combination of gaps in legal implementation and lingering traditional perceptions of women belonging in a domestic role hold women back from obtaining higher rates of employment.

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Democracy that Delivers #98: How Countries Can Overcome Challenges to Enforcing Anti-Corruption Laws

From left: podcast guest Drago Kos, guest host Frank Brown and host Ken Jaques

OECD’s Drago Kos says passing anti-corruption laws is much easier than enforcing them in most countries. Kos, who chairs the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery, is the guest of this week’s podcast and discusses the difficulties many nations face when implementing anti-corruption measures. Kos shares new details about groundbreaking work the OECD is doing to help foreign governments implement anti-corruption policies, fight poverty, and restore confidence in local markets. The OECD, short for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has 35 member countries worldwide and works closely with international businesses.

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Bridging the Gap in Access to Justice: Lessons learned from Afghanistan’s Paktika Province

Disputes over property, such as land and cattle, and other matters are still settled by tribal leaders in many parts of Afghanistan. Huquq activities in Paktika may serve as a model for other communities and pave the way to a more formalized system of justice.

Despite substantial efforts by coalition forces and international donors to strengthen Afghanistan’s formal justice sector, many Afghans remain unaware or highly suspicious of the formal system. The system is considered highly corrupt, with decisions often made in the favor of the highest bidder. In contrast, public trust in informal justice mechanisms, primarily in traditional dispute resolution (TDR), remains high, according to a recent Asia Foundation report entitled “Afghanistan in 2017: A Survey of the Afghan People.” Afghans continue to prefer that tribal elders and local shuras (Arabic for religious councils) settle local disputes. Without improving access to more formalized justice systems or addressing the fragile state of legal reform, stabilization initiatives aimed at reviving the country’s economy will continue to have limited impact. Rather than create new parallel justice systems, often viewed as foreign and imposing, efforts to support and reform existing institutions have a far better chance of being locally accepted, effective, and sustainable.

Residents of Paktika Province are among those who continue to rely on traditional mechanisms to resolve disputes, primarily in the form of mediation shuras led by local tribal elders. Based on my experience in Afghanistan, Paktika provides an interesting case study regarding possible paths to strengthen the nation’s formal justice system. Unlike in other areas of war-torn Afghanistan, Paktika’s tribal system of governance has remained relatively intact, and ordinary citizens continue to resolve conflicts through locally accepted and readily available TDR. Understanding and regular use of the formal justice system by citizens of Paktika is likely, at least, a generation away. However, there is a way to begin closing the gap between the informal and formal systems. The key to improving the country’s justice system is finding the middle ground between the informal and formal systems and to begin knitting together the two systems. The Department of Huquq, which falls under Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice, is the place to begin.

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Democracy that Delivers #97: Reform Measures and the Role of Civil Society in Poland

From left: podcast guest Marek Tatala, guest host Marc Schleifer, and host Ken Jaques

What is the likely role of civil society in Poland amid calls for more policy changes and justice reforms? In this week’s podcast, Civil Development Forum Vice President, Marek Tatala shares his take and explains how CDF is using technology and other outreach mechanisms to empower citizens.

CDF is a CIPE partner and non-governmental think tank based in Poland. CDF’s mission is to promote and defend economic freedoms, rule of law, and also the concept of limited government.

For more background on some of the current challenges facing Poland nearly three decades after the fall of communism, as well as expert recommendations, read CIPE Global Director Anna Kompanek’s blog “Democratic and Market Values Face Obstacles in Poland”.

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