Robert Klitgaard, until last year the president of the Claremont Graduate University, has devoted much of his academic career to the study of governmental corruption. I loved his book Tropical Gangsters, about his efforts as a World Bank economist to work with the government of Equitorial Guinea, at the time often referred to as the worst government in the world.

He has recently written a paper about how the catastrophe in Haiti might be the stimulus for a fundamental reform in governing practices there. It is available as a PDF at this site; direct link to PDF here. "It is of no use," the paper says -- "at least not until we do the analysis" -- to assume "that Haiti's legacy of failure makes Haiti a hopeless case." Instead:

"We should instead ask how the design and implementation of Haiti's reconstruction and development strategy might address [what academics have called] 'the sanctioned plunder that was and remains the core of Haitian politics.' This is the goal of this paper."

Worth reading.

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