Corruption

Flags with the logo and the World Cup 2018 mascot Zabivaka are seen in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow on June 30, 2018 during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Vasily MAXIMOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Read FP’s Coverage of the 2018 World Cup

War is politics by other means — and so is the World Cup.

Croatia and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric appears in court to testify in a corruption trial in Osijek, Croatia, on June 13, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Croatia’s Soccer Stars Should Be Heroes. Instead, They’re Hated.

A corruption scandal involving the country’s top club and the national team’s captain has enraged Croatian fans.

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan plays soccer during an exhibition match at the Basaksehir stadium on July 26, 2014, in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Captain Erdogan Can’t Help the Turkish Soccer Team

With so much political, social, and financial capital invested in its national squad, why can’t Turkey qualify for a World Cup?

Brazilian congressman and presidential candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, waves to the crowd during a military event in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 3, 2018.

Latin America’s Center Cannot Hold If It Doesn’t Exist

Mainstream establishment parties across the continent have been replaced by populists offering easy and empty answers.

Catalan Socialist party candidate Miquel Iceta (L) and Spanish Socialist party leader Pedro Sánchez attend a campaign meeting in Barcelona on December 17, 2017.

Can Pedro Sánchez Put Spain Back Together Again?

The 2017 crisis in Catalonia tore the country apart. The new Spanish prime minister will need to fend off rivals and manage alliances to stay in power long enough to heal the wounds.

Indonesian officials boarded the luxury yacht 'Equanimity', reportedly worth some $250 million and owned by Jho Low, a former unofficial adviser to the Malaysian fund 1MDB, at Benoa Bay in Bali on February 28, 2018.
(RULLY PRASETYO/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia’s $6.5 Billion Scandal Almost Sank Its Democracy

The cover-up of the 1MDB affair was taking the country toward autocracy — until the people won the day.

Bharatiya Janata Party supporters take part in an campaign rally in Bangalore on May 3. (Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images)

India’s Democracy Is More Delicate Than It Seems

After scrambles, fights, and bribes in Karnataka, the stage is set for a tough 2019 vote.

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How to Steal an Election in Broad Daylight

Autocrats and counterfeit democrats have perfected the art of rigging polls to stay in power — without breaking any laws.

Former Malaysian prime minister and opposition candidate Mahathir Mohamad celebrates in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on May 10. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

Everyday Anger Brought Down Malaysia’s Government

Corruption and incompetence pushed Malaysians to end decades of one-party rule.

Supporters of former Malaysian prime minister and opposition candidate Mahathir Mohamad celebrate in Kuala Lumpur on May 10. (Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)

Malaysia’s Elites Ride The People’s Tsunami

Amid a democratic triumph, the new boss is still literally the old boss.

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva gestures to supporters at the headquarters of the Metalworkers' Union on April 7, 2018 in the Sao Bernardo do Campo section of Sao Paulo, Brazil after a warrant for his arrest was issued. The  former president told the crowd "I will comply with their warrant."

Lula Lost, But Brazil’s Democracy Has Won

By going to jail, the former president signaled his respect for the rule of law.

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ahead of an informal Commonwealth of Independent States leaders summit at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on Dec. 26, 2017. (Alexey Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images)

Azerbaijan’s Election Is a Farce

The United States should be condemning Ilham Aliyev’s corrupt regime rather than condoning it.

An activist of the new centrist-liberal Momentum party over-pastes an anti-migration billboard on March 28 in Budapest, Hungary. (Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images)

Hungary’s Strongman Has a Weak Spot

Viktor Orban may have won, but a narrow loss in the countryside suggests that corruption could one day be his undoing.

Investigators collate forensic samples near the Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, England, on March 16, as investigations continue after a former Russian spy and his daughter were apparently poisoned in a nerve agent attack on March 4.
(Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Putin Is Poisoning Prague

Russian corruption starts small but quickly spreads.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic address a joint press conference following their talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on February 27, 2018.

How Aleksandar Vucic Became Europe’s Favorite Autocrat

The EU is undermining its credibility by choosing stability over democracy in Serbia

A man lights a candle in front of the Aktuality newsroom, the employer of the murdered investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, in Bratislava.

Blood on Their Hands?

By condoning corruption and denouncing the press, Slovakia's government created an atmosphere in which journalists became targets.

South African President Jacob Zuma wipes his face with his hand as he answers hostile questions at the South African parliament in Cape Town on August 6, 2015.

Zuma Has Fallen

South Africa's president weathered scandal after scandal while driving his country’s economy and reputation into the ground. His luck has finally run out.

African leaders and U.S. President Donald Trump pose during the G-7 Summit on May 27, 2017 in Taormina, Sicily. (Jonathan Ernst/AFP/Getty Images)

American Sh*thole

The biggest problem with many African countries is that they're led by men like Trump.

An activists hold up flares during an anti-corruption protest in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, on July 11, 2017. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine Needs U.S. Help to Fight Corruption

Domestic reforms are just as important as defending against Russian aggression.

Then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during a campaign event 
on September 6, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

NeverTrump Doesn’t Owe Anyone an Apology

The president’s policy achievements can never make up for his destructive shamelessness.

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