Populism doesn’t cure corruption, says TI


World’s most corrupt states (in red)

Countries riven with corruption and inequality that turn to populist leaders to solve crises often see their problems get worse, according to the latest edition of an annual index of corruption perceptions, The Wall Street Journal reports:

Berlin-based anti-graft group Transparency International late Tuesday released its latest edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index, the annual ranking of countries’ observed graft problems based on a weighted analysis of surveys and reports. The index is cited widely by both the private and public sectors to assess corruption risks across the globe, though some critics see limitations in its use.

The group cited the global corruption scandals of 2016, such as the Panama Papers leak, as highlighting the problems created by corruption, and said people in countries seeking change through new leadership should avoid populists and autocrats, noting they often exacerbate the issues they are put in place to solve…. The group noted in the statement that countries such as Hungary and Turkey, which have seen the rise of autocratic leaders, have had their scores drop in recent years, whereas Argentina, which recently ousted a populist government, saw its conditions improve.

“Instead of tackling crony capitalism, those leaders usually install even worse forms of corrupt systems,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, in a statement.

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