Political corruption in the Arab Mediterranean countries: an innovative typology

Assem Dandashly*, Christos Kourtelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Corruption is a major challenge in the Arab Mediterranean countries (AMCs). The fight against it was a key point in the Arab uprisings, yet since then and despite the international community’s attempts to support anti-corruption strategies, the governments of the AMCs have not been able to address effectively the demands of their population. The article compares the anti-corruption initiatives in four AMCs: two republican semi-presidential systems (Egypt, Tunisia) and two constitutional monarchies (Jordan, Morocco). It focuses on their fight against political corruption, which has different forms. To reduce corruption, policymakers advocate the decentralization of power, as it leads to more accountability and transparency. The article unpacks the idea of decentralization and asks to what extent it contributes to reducing political corruption in the region. In doing so, the article produces a new typology that adds two important factors that contribute to a better understanding of the links between anti-corruption initiatives and decentralization: the challenges to the political survival of the government and the type of external support to fight corruption. The findings show that decentralization measures frequently result in administrative deconcentration rather than the decentralization of decision-making. Thus, they reproduce political corruption in the region.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalDemocratization
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • corruption
  • anti-corruption
  • decentralization
  • Arab Mediterranean Countries
  • MENA
  • EU

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