David took Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev to task in a recent post for a scheme they proposed in an on-line issue of Foreign Affairs to combat corruption. Ignoring the several international anticorruption conventions now in place and the slow but steady improvements these agreements have produced, the authors called for a brand new convention that would grant extraordinary powers to a supranational team of investigators, prosecutors, and judges to arrest, prosecute, and try those suspected of corruption no matter where they are. The harebrained idea is so full of holes and so unrealistic that David labeled it “absurd,” a conclusion with which any serious analyst would surely agree.
In closing David urged the anticorruption community to stop advancing unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky proposals that waste readers’ time and scarce space in learned journals in favor of more realistic, if less catchy, ones. In that spirit I offer the following dull, boring, humdrum, unimaginative, prosaic proposal — one not likely to capture the uninformed reader’s imagination or gain space in Foreign Affairs or another prestigious policy journal. On the other hand, my proposal will help crackdown on corruption, particularly corruption by powerful officials in developing states. It is simple. Developed nations should copy a program the British government began in 2006. Continue reading