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The role of the private sector in building democracies that deliver prosperity and opportunity to all citizens is often overlooked. That is why the contribution made by private sector participants at the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies is particularly noteworthy. The Ministerial, which took place on July 22-24 in El Salvador, gathered representatives of governments, parliaments, civil society, the private sector, and youth in the capital of the Community’s 2013-2015 Presidency, San Salvador. The leading theme for El Salvador’s Presidency was “Democracy and Development.” About 800 participants from more than 70 countries attended.
The Conference facilitated more in-depth interactions between representatives of civil society, parliaments, the private sector, and youth in designated sectoral forums. These forums took place on the opening day of the Conference and met simultaneously to discuss the most urgent issues in their areas of expertise and make recommendations to the participating governments. The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) organized a panel at the Private Sector Forum on the topic of Public-Private Dialogue (PPD).
The Private Sector Forum produced a Declaration that emphasizes the principles of dialogue and corporate social responsibility as key elements of progress toward democracy and development. The Declaration of the Private Sector Forum was subsequently presented to high-level government officials from around the world during the final day of the Ministerial.Read more...
Globalization has redefined the global system, as the old concept of First World, Second World, and Third World is no longer valid. New players have joined the global economy and will have significant influence on how it will develop in the coming years. From the business perspective, globalization is not about analyzing pros and cons, but about understanding its impact and properly responding to it. This response should be thought of as a rules-based system that is currently under construction. Development of these rules should not be left to governments – business has to be at the table where the decisions are made. If it fails to do so, the business community will end up living in a system of rules that it never built, but was created by someone else. And this is true for businesses regardless of industry or location, as the need to actively participate in the development of an international system of rules applies equally to businesses from developed and developing countries. In the end, for the private sector, globalization is about creating a business-friendly environment, both on a local level and globally.Read more...
In his interview with CIPE, Francis Fukuyama discusses the importance of having a strong, efficient state and talks about the development agenda in the light of his recent work, State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century. This book builds on the idea that there are two crucial dimensions of the state, scope and strength, and evaluates the challenges of state-building and finding the right balance between the two dimensions.Read more...
Afghanistan’s current development agenda is part of a reconstruction process that is intertwined with the elements of state-building – physical reconstruction, national security, political stability, and human rights issues. A major weakness of the current state-building/reconstruction process is its lack of emphasis on Afghan ownership. So far, external influence and engagement have been dominant, both in policy design and policy implementation. To this point, policy has been made behind closed doors, and there is no transparency in communicating subsequent policies to the Afghan public.Read more...
Economic theory has developed two basic views of corruption, one that considers corruption to be exogenous and the other endogenous to the political process. Applying either theoretical view, three basic types of corruption can be identified: corruption for the acceleration of processes, administrative corruption, and “state capture.” While in most cases, corruption can be attributed to rent appropriation, self-interested individuals seeking to maximize their own personal welfare as well as complicated, ambiguous, and unenforceable laws are also to blame.Read more...
As the competition for foreign investment is heating up, the functionality of legal systems increasingly plays a central role in determining countries’ ability to attract and retain foreign capital. A functional legal system is not only key in building economic foundations, it is also crucial in safeguarding democratic values. However, in many developing countries legal systems are marred by inconsistencies, and newly written laws frequently fail to properly address the issues they should. This gap between policy design and policy implementation is largely due to weakness in the rule of law – a governing structure dependent on the consistent and systematic applications of legal rules. Although “rule of law” is frequently cited in the development field today, few understand it well at the level of implementation. This article sketches the essential framework of a functioning democratic society based on rule of law and highlights successful private sector-led approaches to building such societies.
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CIPE welcomes articles submitted by readers. Most articles run between 3-7 pages (1000-3000 words), but all submissions relevant to CIPE's mission of building accountable, democratic institutions through market-oriented reform will be considered based on merit. Economic Reform Feature Service articles are primarily geared toward an international, non-academic community of businesspeople, economic reformers, and policy-makers. Specific policy recommendations and articles based on direct experience are encouraged. In addition to articles, we are willing to adapt suitable lectures, speeches, research notes, and academic papers.
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