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Rule of Law

The Struggle for Free Speech in Russia

The Russian government remains widely criticized for its record on human rights, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly. With the fourth inauguration of Vladimir Putin having taken place earlier this month, Kennan Institute Fellow Marina Agaltsova discusses whether progress is being made in protecting these rights for Russian citizens, or if we should anticipate even more restrictions.


Putin’s Foreign Policy and the Instruments of Chastisement

The third inauguration of Russian president Vladimir Putin, in May 2012, was a magnificent affair. As the impressive motorcade of the newly reelected autocrat sped through the empty streets of the capital, not a single passerby was in view, all having been banned from the public streets and squares along the route. The majestic and lonely procession stood in stark contrast to the cheering crowds that attended President Obama’s second inauguration a few months later—or that of most democratically elected leaders.

The Normality of Insecurity

The world changes when people accustom themselves to the unacceptable, when they see as natural what is not, such as insecurity. Instead of protesting, exacting, and demanding the construction of a security system that attends to the needs and interests of the citizenry, we Mexicans are becoming accustomed to living under the yoke of organized crime in its diverse variants. The government, in fact, the various governments of recent decades, have been incapable of providing a solution and have ended up as defeated and accommodating as everyone else.

Kennan Cable No. 32: How Can Russian Civil Society Survive Putin’s Fourth Term?

Photo Caption: People attach blue buckets to their heads and cars, symbolizing blue strobe lights used by emergency services, during a rally in Moscow July 3, 2010. Demonstrators are protesting against Russian VIPs using strobes to ignore traffic rules and speed limits, causing accidents, according to local media. REUTERS/Alexander Natruskin


Food, Technology, and Authoritarianism in Venezuela’s Elections

In spite of an all-encompassing economic and humanitarian crisis, Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro is likely to emerge victorious in the upcoming May 2018 presidential elections, consolidating a fully authoritarian regime.

'A Regional Strategy for Democratic Governance Against Corruption in the Hemisphere': Eric Olson Testimony

Eric L. Olson, Deputy Director of the Latin American Program and Eric Farnsworth, Vice President of the Council of the Americas testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations' Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women's Issues. They each spoke on the topic of corruption in the hemisphere.

Download Eric Olson's testimony below.

This video starts at minute 16:25.

Gonzalo Smith: Corporate Anti-Corruption Strategies

Private companies are taking steps to build effective compliance systems aimed at preventing corrupt practices and at protecting companies from liability for illegal behavior by staff or contractors. Gonzalo Smith, the chief legal and governance officer for S.A.C.I. Falabella, a Chilean multinational corporation, explains how such efforts can help inoculate a company against corruption while also helping to fortify public institutions.

Preserving a Free Society: Governmental Power and the Rule of Law

The International Bar Association (IBA) is pleased to announce the launch of a six-part series of events featuring former and current senior government officials and other distinguished guests discussing the rule of law, which has become a vital, even existential, issue for societies around the world.

Never Apologize: A Russian Bureaucrat’s Creed

In Russia, this has been a cruel week on so many levels. The fire at a shopping mall in Kemerovo was a horrific, preventable tragedy that shook Russians awake. The spectacle of the frightened Kemerovo bureaucrats cringing before an angry boss who flew in from the Kremlin was humiliating to watch.

A national tragedy that left 64 people, including 41 children, dead, combined with the continuing saga of the Kremlin being pinned down as a preeminent rogue actor in the world, drove Russia and the West even further apart this week.