Secrets of Transformation

Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of the Republic of Madagascar, at UN Headquarters in New York © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Madagascar’s Rocky Path to Democracy

After five years of political turmoil and economic standstill, Madagascar seems to be headed for recovery. The new democratic government wants to restore rule of law, tackle poverty, and foster growth. Yet the island remains burdened by a legacy of power struggles and corruption. The men open the heavy steel door of the container. This […]

Police escort in Karachi © Colin Cookman/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Pakistan’s Violent Economy

Contrary to Western perception it’s not Islamic violence but economic misery that matters most to people in Pakistan. Yet, few believe that the government will soon put the country on a path of progress. I had only five days to shoot in Karachi for the “Secrets of Transformation” series, a joint project of Deutsche Welle […]

Victor Orban during a debate in the European Parliament on the political situation in Hungary, January 2012 © European Union 2012 EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Good Voters and Bad Voters

Why some votes will not count in Hungary’s elections and why the BTI 2014 has classified the country as a “defective democracy.” Since it took office in Budapest and gained a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament, the right-wing conservative FIDESZ government has acquired the nickname of “legislation factory” – and rightly so. The Orban […]

© SERGEY NVENS / fotolia.com

The Art of Comparing Economic Growth

Turkey’s government argues that the economy has grown threefold during the past ten years. Are these numbers misleading the voters for the purpose of self-promotion? Comparison is an art. Just as statistics is the art of lying, comparison is the art of demoralizing. Theodore Roosevelt, often seen as one of the best U.S. presidents, once […]

São Paulo subway cars. © Luis F. Gallo (CC-BY-2.0)

Bridging the Corruption Gap in Brazil

Media and civil society in Brazil are quite successful at exposing corruption. The government should revisit laws, strengthen their enforcement, and engage in an anti-corruption forum with NGOs and businesses. The fight against corruption is an ever-present key issue in Brazilian media and society. It’s common knowledge that, despite Brazil’s vast economic potential and the […]

Are powers concentrated in good hands? Nepal’s Chief Justice and interim head of government Khil Raj Regmi © Krish Dulal (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Re-Thinking Separation of Powers in Nepal

Nepal’s November 2013 parliamentary elections set a precedent for democratic governance in the Himalayan nation. Ironically, with the right leaders and support from the population, temporary restrictions on separation of powers may serve the future of Nepali democracy. Global and regional powers, including the European Union, the United States, Japan, China, and India, sent congratulations […]