Opinion

Ian Bremmer

Political risk must-reads

By Ian Bremmer
June 14, 2013

Eurasia Group’s weekly selection of essential reading for the political-risk junkie — presented in no particular order, and shared from ForeignPolicy.com. As always, feel free to give us your feedback or selections by tweeting at us via @EurasiaGroup or @ianbremmer.

Must-reads 

Africa: Continent of Plenty” – G. Pascal Zachary, IEEE Spectrum

In the early 1960s, Africa supplied 8 percent of the world’s tradable food; that figure has dropped below 2 percent today.  Can Africa feed itself—and even help feed the world?  Here are ten reasons to believe it can.

Putin’s Self-Destruction” – Ivan Krastev and Vladislav Inozemtsev, Foreign Affairs

From 2000 to 2012, the number of Russian state officials rose by more than 65 percent, from 1.3 million to 2.1 million. Today, approximately $300 billion (16 percent) of Russia’s GDP is consumed by corruption.  Will Putin’s anti-corruption campaign undermine the very people who support him most?

Italy’s overcrowded prisons close to collapse” – Barry Mood, Reuters

According to a prison right’s group, Italian prisons are the most overcrowded in the EU, at 142 percent of capacity.  Are political hurdles inhibiting a fix?

Investors worry the Dilma model is unravelling in Brazil” – Joe Lehry, Financial Times

Economic growth in Brazil: 2010—7.5 percent; 2011—2.7 percent; 2012—less than 1 percent. If Dilma Rousseff is losing the reins of the economy, she certainly isn’t losing her popularity. Unemployment remains at record lows of less than 6 percent, and a March survey found that if a presidential election were held now, Rousseff would win with 76 percent of the vote.

Must-view 

This isn’t your ordinary remote control helicopter.

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