Hope in Zimbabwe?

Maybe. But doesn’t the Mugabe story show that the Westphalia doctrine of state sovereignty needs to be replaced?

Maybe. Paying the security forces in real money rather than Mugabe’s toilet paper is an inspired idea as a way to pry them away from loyalty to the ZANU-PF, and I hope that the donor nations will agree to fund the entire civil service that way.

It has always seemed strange to me that the Washington Consensus ignored the importance of securing the services of honest, competent, and diligent public-sector workers, which can’t be done if public-sector pay isn’t enough to live on.

The MDC minister in the story is wondering what to do with the official portrait of Robert Mugabe that hangs on the walll of his office. Perhaps he could put it on the floor at the entrance, so visitors can step on Mugabe’s face on the way in and out.

The notion of a world of equal and independent sovereign states embodied in the Treaty of Westphalia was probably an impovement over the Thirty Years’ War. But that’s about the most that can be said for it. Three and a half centuries later, it needs to be replaced. There needs to be a way to deny a morally and politically bankrupt regime &#8212 Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe &#8212 of the internationally recognized legal right to ruin its country.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com