Today voters in the United States will go to the polls to elect the next President of the United States, as well as representatives in the legislature and other offices. For that reason, there doesn’t seem to be much point in publishing an ordinary post today.
This election is so obviously important–not just for the United States but for the whole world–that it might seem a bit forced to try to put an “anticorruption spin” on it. It’s nonetheless worth keeping in mind that, for all the U.S. government’s faults and mistakes–of which there are many–American leadership on anticorruption, both domestically and abroad, is vitally important. After we know the results of the election, I may try to write something up speculating about how those results might affect global anticorruption efforts. For now, I’ll just remind readers (who probably don’t need any such reminder) that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have starkly different histories and views regarding these issues (see here, here, here, here, here, and here). If you are a registered voter in the United States and have not already voted, please do so as soon as possible! If not, please cross your fingers, knock on wood, and pray.
We crossed our fingers, knocked on wood and prayed to no avail. As the results came in, this blog channelled my anxieties more succinctly than anything else.
What happens now to the growing global anti-corruption architecture and to the progess made in effective enforcement? If the ‘policemen’ becomes shall we say ‘distracted’ or worse, ‘compromised’ will the moral outrage that fueled the FCPA and progeny hold true? Will the ‘driving force’ of global anti-corruption enforcement leave the building?
The realignments of our assumptions about global power, are casting a darkening cloud over the progress made in anti-corruption enforcement over the last two decades. The hope is that the strength of US institutions and a democracy so weathered will prevail in holding firm the arc of justice. Civil society must also be even more vigilant and intervene more deliberately as the sands set a shifting first by Brexit, and now the US, (and on the horizon, important players in Europe), continue to shift. So much had been won in the fight against corruption. So much is at stake.
Thanks Matthew for this very apt blog.
Very well put. I’m still too numb from the shock to add anything coherent. Perhaps in a few days I might follow your lead in trying to reflect on what this means for anticorruption, though the consequences are so much broader and more troubling, somehow working on this blog now seems so trivial.