Tag Archives: democracy

Iraq’s Political Wrestling Arena

In Iraq, former governments spent billions of dollars to sustain the public sector at the cost of future generations with little foresight of potential economic ramifications. The public sector expanded to such a degree that the private sector was left with few opportunities to contribute to the economic development of the country. Past governments used the public sector as a tool to gain the votes and support of unemployed youth by employing thousands of them in public sector jobs prior to each election cycle. As a result, they were able to increase their political patronage. The public sector system of political, ethnic, and sectarian quotas, which divides positions in the Iraqi government based on sect, ethnicity, and political affiliation regardless of competency, resulted in inefficient administrations lacking capability and demonstrating an inability to provide necessary services. Such incompetence and weak rule of law increased corruption, permeating both the public and private institutions in the country. This chaotic situation offered an opportunity for corrupt political parties and their nominated governmental officials to abuse official positions and accumulate wealth and power.

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Launching a Platform for Peer Learning for Economic Think Tanks in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is currently home to around 8% of the world’s population. Collectively, the countries that comprise Southeast Asia – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – are projected to become the fourth largest economy globally by 2050, with a combined workforce that is already the third largest in the world – after China and India. The region has experienced rapid economic growth over the past decade and exhibits tremendous diversity in terms of ethnicity, culture, religion and income levels. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 signaled a strong support from members for closer economic integration of these diverse populations.

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Drivers of Violent Extremism

The Kabul Bank scandal is a prominent case of corruption that undermines governance, and an example of one of a number of factors that can drive extremism.

Extremist violence presents a serious threat to democratic values and societies around the world. The last decade has witnessed increased attention to how and why individuals become involved in extremist violence, including “push” and “pull” factors. “Push” factors are underlying conditions favoring the rise or spread of violent extremism (VE). “Pull” factors work on an individual level and have a direct impact on recruitment and radicalization. They include: social status and respect from peers, a sense of belonging, adventure, and self-esteem, and the prospect of achieving glory and fame. There has tended to be an over-emphasis on the search for broad root causes and an under-emphasis on the examination of individual motivations. This tendency has reduced the success of past programs seeking to counter VE. In the future, programming should focus on preventative measures aimed at preempting radicalization by mitigating specific drivers that are known to heighten the likelihood of VE.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #51: Podcast Throwback

It is Inauguration Week here in Washington, DC and in honor of this important symbol of democracy we are highlighting two conversations that have taken place on the podcast over the last year that focus on democratic and economic development and the link between the two:

Podcast guest Claude Fontheim (left) with hosts Julie Johnson and Ken Jaques.

In the first podcast throwback episode, CIPE Board member Claude Fontheim talked about how the rule of law, transparency, and good governance underpin strong, inclusive development. Fontheim explained that investment alone is not enough and that support for public institutions is needed to ensure that the benefits of trade and economic growth reach all segments of society. He discussed the direct link between development around the world and U.S. national security interests. Fontheim also talked about how U.S. companies contribute to the good governance of countries they invest in, and how they partner with NGOs and civil society to support initiatives in sectors such as health, education, and women’s rights.

Guest Dr. Kim Holmes (center) with hosts Jennifer Anderson and Ken Jaques.

In the second, Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and recently returned CIPE Board member (after a 15 year hiatus) Dr. Kim Holmes discussed how his views on democratic and economic development have evolved through the years. Holmes explained specifically how his views on the role of economic development in conflict zones has changed and why. He also talked at length about his new book, The Closing of the Liberal Mind: How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left. 

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Improving Corporate Governance in Ukraine’s State-Owned Enterprises

On May 1, 2016, the law, On Introduction of Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine Regarding Protection of Investors’ Rights (No. 289-VIII), came into effect. It introduced a number of new aspects to Ukrainian corporate law including the right to shareholder derivative actions, direct payment of dividends to shareholders, and –perhaps the most relevant to reducing corruption and privatizing state owned enterprises– the establishment of independent directors.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #50: Marc Schleifer on Democratic Trends in Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia

Podcast guest Marc Schleifer

CIPE Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia, and South Asia Marc Schleifer works on democracy projects in vastly different parts of the globe. On today’s episode of the Democracy that Delivers podcast he discusses the trends that are affecting the health and development of democracy in his areas of focus, including the attitudes and outlooks of the citizens in each region.

Schleifer describes his early interest in social issues and how his fascination with Russia led to eight years living in the country working in law and international development (and his brief stint as a rock musician). His recollections from this time, including the exciting and chaotic mood in pre-Putin Russia, contrast sharply with his assessment of Russia both today and in the near future. He also talks about the rise in populist sentiment in many parts of the world and challenges us to avoid knee-jerk reactions and look at the political and economic developments behind it.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Listen to past episodes of our show here.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes to help other listeners find the show.

Another Baldrige Ambassador Takes the Message Overseas

By Dawn Marie Bailey

The following is an interview with William Pawlucy, CIPE Consultant… about his work with Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Based outside of Washington, D.C., the Baldrige Program helps organizations identify, understand, and manage the factors that determine their success. Through his work with CIPE, Pawlucy has traveled to the Palestinian Territories and Jordan to work with business associations and CIPE partners on improving their organizational and financial sustainability. He is currently a member of CIPE’s team on the Local Enterprise Support (LENS) Project, a USAID/FHI360-funded initiative that works to enhance the effectiveness of Jordanian business support organizations and promote growth for micro and small enterprises. Pawlucy’s engagement with associations through the LENS Project builds on his work with the Baldrige Program; he is developing targeted organizational strengthening programs for several business associations, based in part on the standards of performance excellence used by Baldrige. This article originally appeared on Blogrige, the official blog of Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been reposted with permission from the author.

The Baldrige Program has always been fortunate to have engaged ambassadors—many of whom are current or former examiners, judges, or overseers—who carry the Baldrige message of continuous improvement, core values, and a systems perspective, as well as the Baldrige framework itself, with them when they speak in the Unites States and abroad. In Blogrige, we’ve written about such ambassadors traveling to India, China, Southeast Asia, South Africa, and elsewhere. [Please accept this note as a sincere thank you to those folks and others who support Baldrige.]

William Pawlucy, CAE

Below is another story of a Baldrige community member’s travels; this time the story takes place in the Middle East. William Pawlucy served on the Board of Examiners in 2012 and now does work for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), whose mission is to “strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.” Pawlucy and his colleagues have raised awareness of Baldrige resources in places across the region, including Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, and Egypt.

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