I’m reading like crazy these days, trying to get to grips with the monumental subject I want to cover on this blog. One of the patterns that is standing out to me is the importance of the rule of law.
The problem is again twofold, like the tax problem discussed here earlier. Corporations and entrepreneurs stay away from countries where there investments are not safe, because the rules change during the game. Recently the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant featured an article about Indonesia, which is chasing away foreign investors for the benifit of the local elite. A similar thing was noted by German investors in Russia as reported in Der Spiegel a few weeks ago.
For people, it is not just their businesses that are at stake. Besides the continuous fear of loosing their land, crop or salary by an apparently random act of the ruling elite, they might also loose their lives. For instance in Afghanistan, where the police have been reported to arrest people and to let them go free only when a ransom of sorts had been paid. (If you speak Dutch, read the excellent book about Afghanistan by Natalie Righton)
On this blog I would like to explore this topic further and look into some of the examples in more detail. Can you think of any interesting cases I should delve into? Please tell me in the comments.