Tag Archives: economic reform

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #56: Aurelio Concheso on the Challenge Facing Liberal Democracy in Latin America

Podcast guest Aurelio Concheso

In this week’s Democracy that Delivers podcast, Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board of Venezuelan think tank Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), and a member of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network, discusses populism in Latin America and the challenges to democracy in that region. He uses the example of Chile to discuss the importance of a free market for meeting citizen demands. He also discusses the need for a social context for market reforms, and how open markets and a level playing field create a vested interest in the rule of law by all citizens.

Concheso also talks about how problems with democracy and globalization have led to dissatisfaction and populism, and explains what he considers to be the antidote to the challenges facing democracy in Latin America today.

This podcast refers to a previous CIPE/NED panel discussion event titled “Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets.” Listen to that discussion here.

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Democracy that Delivers Podcast #55: Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets

(From left to right) Panelists Güray Karacar, Selima Ahmad, Aurelio Concheso, and moderator Karen Kerrigan

In recent years, populist and authoritarian leaders around the world have openly sought to discredit liberal principles and undermine democratic values such as the rule of law and checks on authority. This encroachment on liberal democracy has been accompanied in many cases by attacks on market principles and the suppression of independent business voices.

This week’s podcast is a recording of an event CIPE recently co-hosted with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) titled Defending Liberal Democracy in Emerging Markets: The Role of Free Markets and Rule of Law.

Specifically, the event explored whether liberal economic reforms and accountability in economic policy can help bolster the consolidation of democracy and, if so, under what conditions.

  • What are the common challenges facing liberal democracy and market economies?
  • What are the economic arguments in support of liberal democracy?
  • How can a free-market system respond to demands for economic and political inclusion?
  • What types of reforms would promote a level playing field and accountability in government?

Opening remarks were provided by:

  • Greg Lebedev, Chair, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy

Three members of CIPE’s Free Enterprise and Democracy Network engaged in a panel discussion on the topic:

  • Aurelio Concheso, President of the Advisory Board, Centro de Divulgación del Conocimiento (CEDICE), Venezuela
  • Güray Karacar, Former Secretary General, Corporate Governance Association of Turkey (TKYD)
  • Selima Ahmad, Founder and President, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)

The discussion was moderated by:

  • Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

We hope you enjoy the conversation!

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

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Private Sector Innovation in Refugee Response and Why it Matters

More than five and a half years deep into the Syrian war, the development aid space is crowded: crowded with emergency relief agencies working to supply besieged communities with critical food supplies and healthcare; crowded with multinational donors working to catalyze economic and political change in the Middle East’s countries of first asylum.

In these countries—namely, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey— many development organizations and practitioners have shifted the focus away from immediate, emergency assistance. Instead, they are opting for initiatives designed to generate longer-term, sustainable solutions for refugees and host communities on everything from livelihoods to mental health.

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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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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.

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