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How to Get Your Country off the Sh*t List

An open letter from John Norris to the leaders of Eritrea, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, and other countries with deplorable track records.

Dear Sirs (and you are all men, so I am safe in that generalization) —

All of your countries remain, to greater and lesser degrees, targets of international opprobrium. The reasons are largely predictable: corruption, repression, the usual extravagant mismanagement. Many of you have tried entirely predictable tactics to improve your standing: hiring small armies of expensive K Street lobbyists and paying for splashy 10-page advertising sections about your countries in Western newsweeklies. None of it has made much of a difference. The aid dollars are starting to dry up, or have already done so, and it is getting hard and harder to use the global war on terror to justify your stranglehold on power.

What to do? Well, there is a useful alternative if you truly wish to get your country off the international shit list. I present President Joyce Banda of Malawi, who has almost completely reversed her country’s international image in the three short months she has been in power.

Read more here.

The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy. Click here to view the full article.

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John Norris

Senior Fellow; Executive Director, Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative