We recently featured the Carnegie Europe analysis of what happens when protests die down, including the risk of fizzling out to little long term effect. It is still too soon to predict a sea change toward more integrity in government, but remarkable to see the murder of anti-corruption investigator Daphne Caruana Galizia finally bring some political accountability over two years after her death. It looks like the Prime Minister may step down soon as more murky connections of business and political elites come to light. Hopefully, this will further inspire those who took to the streets to protest corruption in Kyrgyzstan.
Meanwhile neighboring Cyprus is still intentionally swimming in dodgy money as they continue to offer ‘Golden Visas’ despite repeated scandals. On another corruption note, Samsung’s shipbuilding arm has agreed to pay a $75.5m bribery settlement to the US Department of Justice. The firm admits conspiring with others by providing approximately $20 million in commissions to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of the money would be used to bribe officials at Brazil’s state-owned energy company Petrobras and involving payments made through banks in Switzerland and Monaco.
There’s also still plenty of room to more effectively use data to fight corruption according to the OpenDataCharter team. They argue that “in order to achieve systemic change, the incentives that encourage corrupt behavior must be confronted” rather than just ensuring data transparency. (Some tie up to the Learning Agenda being followed for use of data in fighting corruption by TAI member grantees in Nigeria.)
Returning to protests, we’ve noted all too many instances of internet shutdowns in the Weekly this year. When people mobilize, shutdowns are becoming an increasingly common repression tactic. Lily Hay Newman explains how exactly they work. Often this tactic is combined with more traditional modes of targeting individuals – another case in point this past week as Egypt detained a journalist from one of the last remaining independent news organizations in the country.
Read here to see what is keeping mis and disinformation specialist Craig Silverman up at night. Find some more resources here on MediaWell, a new platform that tracks and distills the latest research on disinformation, online politics, election interference, and emerging collisions between media and democracy.
Branko Milanovic speaks with Duncan Green on the future of capitalism, equality and more.