Teachers representing the observatory of knowledge, protest against budget cuts for public universities outside the Ministry of Education, in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. 

Trust the process: Part I

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into the politics of patronage in Brazil.

A view of a courtroom inside Rome's tribunal Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, during the first hearing of a trial of involving politicians and businessmen.

The Italian job: Part I

Critical State
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, center, former President Hamid Karzai, right, and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, left, watch the live broadcast of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar after the signing of a peace treaty at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan

The Afghan government and the US lost popular support over corruption in Afghanistan, investigator general says

Blinken speaks at podium

A new US award honors anti-corruption advocates around the world

Global Politics
A group of four people sit in red chairs in an elegant room with green and gold-starred walls

UK sanctions on Russians, Saudis are a ‘milestone’ for human rights, advocate says

Human rights
A headshot of Trump in shadow

Trump’s hypocrisy on corruption is just what Putin wants

Trump administration

US President Donald Trump said he was concerned about corruption in Ukraine when he withheld aid last year. But his interference in Justice Department matters post-impeachment are eroding US institutional norms — and playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hand.

A female protester raises her fist as she takes part in a march to protest against the decision of Guatemala President Jimmy Morales to end the mandate of the UN-backed anti-graft commission, the CICIG, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, January 12, 2019.

Guatemala shut down its anti-corruption commission. Now its people worry about impunity.


President Jimmy Morales, who is under investigation, shut down Guatemala’s popular anti-corruption commission. Now the country is embroiled in a battle over its legacy.

A green military truck drives on a road.

State Dept. list of corrupt Central American government officials is a ‘sham,’ rep. says

US Diplomacy

After asking the US State Department for a list of corrupt government officials in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, some lawmakers are unimpressed with what they were given.

South Korean ousted leader Park Geun-hye arrives at a court in Seoul in handcuffs and escorted by a police officer.

South Korean court jails former president Park for 24 years


A South Korean court jailed former President Park Geun-hye for 24 years on Friday over a scandal that exposed webs of corruption between political leaders and the country’s conglomerates.

The headquarters of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China is pictured in Beijing.

China’s new anti-graft super-ministry adds to concerns about suspects’ rights


A new “super-ministry” set to deepen Chinese President Xi Jinping’s war on graft and extend it to all state employees is likely to undermine years of work by Chinese legal reformers to protect the rights of suspects during investigations, according to some Chinese academics.