Political risk must-reads

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


"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 10 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 Moody, Reuters
According to a prisoners' rights group, Italian prisons are the most overcrowded in the European Union, at 142 percent of capacity. Are political hurdles inhibiting a fix?

"The Ayatollah's Point Man"
Abbas Milani, Foreign Policy
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, lost a leg in the Iran-Iraq War. He can lean on the ayatollah in his bid to become Iran's next president.

"Investors worry the Dilma model is unravelling in Brazil"
Joe Leahy, 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.


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