Has political graft become more common or is it simply easier to expose?

The frequency and impact of corruption scandals seem to be growing all over the world

People shout slogans against corruption during a protest outside Madrid in 2014. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

People shout slogans against corruption during a protest outside Madrid in 2014. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Remember the Brics? When the concept was first launched by Goldman Sachs in 2001, it was a handy acronym to describe the world’s most dynamic emerging economies. There were always sceptics who questioned just how much Brazil, Russia, India and China have in common. Those doubts only grew when South Africa joined the club.

But it turns out that the Brics do have something in common after all - corruption. In all five countries, popular rage about graft is at the very heart of politics. And because these countries are increasingly important to the world economy, their corruption problems have global implications.

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