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Rule of Law

From Corruption Scandals to Reform: The Work of Chile's Anti-Corruption Commission

The issue of corruption is one of the most potent in defining citizen attitudes about political leadership and institutions of governance. As in many other Latin American countries, in Chile in 2014 and 2015 a number of corruption scandals cast a spotlight on weaknesses in the institutional framework for preventing irregular campaign financing, conflicts of interest, and influence peddling.


In the eighties, the title of a book on Indonesia summed up the moment in that society, not very distinct from that of today’s Mexico: “A Nation in Waiting”. In waiting for “a change”.

Governments come and governments go, all avowing deliverance. But deliverance did not come and everything turned out being excuses: the fault was always someone else’s.

Due Transition

"Transitions are long, uncertain and complex," affirms Joaquín Villalobos. Worse yet, writes Australian novelist Nikki Rowe, "Transition isn’t pretty, but stagnation is hideous." Mexico’s penal reform process is found in that limbo: significant advances in some aspects but without consolidating the port of arrival.

Infographic | Past and Present Criminal Justice Systems in Mexico

“Make Sure He Did Not Die in Vain!” Pavel Sheremet’s Mother Pleads for Ukraine to Keep Fighting

By Kateryna Smagliy

The shocking murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet by a car bomb in Kyiv on July 20 symbolizes the incredibly complicated domestic political transformation underway in Ukraine and the country’s remarkably vulnerable international position.

When Reality Hits Back: Results of Failed Economic Reforms

In memory of Professor Stephen Zamora

How to Hear, and Address, China’s Reaction to Tribunal Ruling Over South China Sea Claims

Ignore the rhetoric.

For now.

Mexico Wins: Anti-Corruption Reform Approved

Mexico just approved an anti-corruption reform that required changing 14 constitutional articles, drafting 2 new general laws, and reforming five more. This is not minor. The reform is, by far, the most encompassing system to identify and sanction corruption that the country has ever had and its effects will be felt quite soon.

In this text, I present the story of how Mexico got here and provide an assessment of the virtues and challenges of this change.

The Government tries to fight corruption

Elections in Hard Times: Building Stronger Democracies in the 21st Century

Why are “free and fair” elections so often followed by democratic backsliding? Elections in Hard Times answers this critical question, showing why even clean elections fail to advance democracy when held amidst challenging structural conditions. The book opens with a comprehensive, accessible synthesis of fifty years of research on elections and democratization, a resource for experts, policymakers, and students. It then develops a new theory of why elections fail in countries with little democratic history or fiscal resources, and a history of violent conflict.