A Letter From Nigeria, Where Coping With COVID Entails Twitterstorms, Bullets, and Corruption

Once Again Nigerians Will Adapt to Whatever Their New Normal Becomes

We wake up on a March morning that feels shaken, the air suddenly colder, drained of one energy and infused with another. The numbers from Lagos have increased again. “We have to go now, this is getting serious,” I tell J., who is half asleep. We are alone in a friend’s flat in the small university town we visit for getaways, but it’s time to get back to Big City.

For weeks, all our friends have thought I’m over worrying, overreacting. We pack our things. On the way out of town, …

Why Using Foreign Contractors Helps Prolong Foreign Wars

Farming Out Work to Non-U.S. Employees Fosters Corruption, Hampers Logistical Oversight, and Keeps the American Public Disengaged 

First it was sacks of rice. Then frozen chicken. Later, even a television. The goods were wrapped tightly in plastic bags and thrown in with the other trash in a …

Should California Corruption Be Forgot, and Never Thought Upon?

If the Golden State Is to Right Its Biggest Wrongs in the New Year, We'll Have to Embrace Some Dirty Deals

Grab a glass of champagne. Then bend your mind around this New Year’s resolution for Californians: In 2017, let’s become more tolerant of political corruption.

Yes, bigotry against political skullduggery is …

How an Idyllic Italian Village Was Crippled by Family-Centrism

A Watershed Study Connects Nepotism to Poverty, Distrust, and Neglect of the Public Good

More than 60 years ago, an American family arrived in a seemingly idyllic town in Southern Italy. Stone buildings resembled “a white beehive against the top of a mountain.” Donkeys …

Russia Goes for Gold in Hooliganism

The Future World Cup Host’s Latest International Sporting Event Antics Only Deepen the Kremlin’s Sense of Isolation

In authoritarian political systems, sports take on outsized importance. After all, national greatness is part of the bargain. A measure of democratic freedom is traded for strength and victory, whether …

Why Early 20th-Century Muckraker Lincoln Steffens Is a Man For Our Times

The New York Political Reporter Understood Political Corruption Was About a Warped System, Not Just Immoral Politicians

Voters are in a bad mood. Again. We are routinely (and justifiably) frustrated with our politicians, but “throwing the bums out” doesn’t seem to change much. And we are all …