Thursday, August 11, 2005

Environmentalist looks at Corruption

A study on Corruption by the way of Grist about Forgive Us Our Debts should be some interesting reading.
While Democratic Peace does not address the issue of corruption, we can see that none of the corrupt nations mentioned were free and most of the ones mentioned were partial free (5) with Kenya doing a lot to get better. Thus it leaves the worst of the group of three as Zimbabwe, Haiti, and Cameroon. This brings up an issue of the differences of Haiti and Dominican Republic. Dr. Rummel I would love to hear your take on these two nations if you have not done so already.
IMO, Democracies can still be corrupt as in places like India, but tend to be much more likely to combat it and to reduce this problem in the long run. We can even see how politicians in the US are constantly hounded for junkets and whether they followed all the various rules on who, when and how they can be used.

And now for something completely different...
I love that phrase.

I liked your blog entry and wish more environmentalist believed that and followed your advice. This is especially insightful:"Good governance -- which starts with free and fair elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and property rights -- needs to be pushed further to embrace conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity through good laws, adequate administration, and practical incentives that work for people on the land."
Democratic Peace would also agree with you. While the study you link to looks at corruption, all of us including Dr. Rummel would say democracies lead to the things that make environmental progress possible. As the phrase goes "Wealthy makes Healthy". Bringing the poor up and giving them opportunities in democracies are the best way to avoid wars and famines and environmental damages. This is better than handouts to corrupt and not free nations.
I am surprised but happy that you used the phrase "property rights". In addition to having a stable democracy, having well defined property rights are important in protecting the environment and avoiding problems of "tragedy of the commons".
I have more to say on this subject but this is enough for now.


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