A Rant of Some Sort

Transparency International’s corruption index for 2009 was released this week and as readers of this blog know I have a bit of a problem with their index – mainly that it ranks Somalia at all. For the past two years TI has been raking Somalia as the #1 corrupt country in the world. Don’t get me wrong. Here’s my problem with this ranking: if a country doesn’t have any functioning government (police, courts, etc), how can there be corruption? Unless TI is counting robbery, murder, public stoning, internal displacement of people, and so on as corruption, then the only thing Somalia can be ranked in is Shit List.

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Categories: Somalia | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “A Rant of Some Sort

  1. Sorry, Om, but considering the historical record should Somalia feature in any other list?

  2. Charles, corruption is a construct that is specific to an otherwise functioning system, even if by name. It is a malfunction, an abnormal state. Somalia has no government and mostly small, tribal institutions.

    Bribing a checkpoint soldier In Muqdisho is a necessity. Bribing a NY City officer to make a traffic ticket go away is corruption.

    It seems like the TI researchers are simply giving an ode to a long-running state of chaos that the rest of the world has otherwise ignored (except to fuel through UN reconciliation circles and blatant arming of factions).

  3. Charles,

    I think Shit List is an accurate ranking for Somalia. Somalia is so awful, ranking it as “corrupt” is like throwing a needle in the ocean. Think about it, how does TI even gather the data when nobody can go in there?

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