Corruption and Informal Practices in the Middle East and North Africa  book cover
1st Edition

Corruption and Informal Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

ISBN 9780367422264
Published December 5, 2019 by Routledge
252 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book investigates the pervasive problem of corruption across the Middle East and North Africa. Drawing on the specifics of the local context, the book explores how corruption in the region is actuated through informal practices that coexist and work in parallel to formal institutions.

When informal practices become vehicles for corruption, they can have negative ripple effects across many aspects of society, but on the other hand, informal practices could also have the potential to be leveraged to reinforce formal institutions to help fight corruption. Drawing on a range of cases including Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia or Israel the book first explores the mechanisms and dynamics of corruption and informal practices in the region, before looking at the successes and failures of anti-corruption initiatives. The final section focuses on gender perspectives on corruption, which are often overlooked in corruption literature, and the role of women in the Middle East.

With insights drawn from a range of disciplines, this book will be of interest to researchers and students across political science, philosophy, socio-legal studies, public administration, and Middle Eastern studies, as well as to policy makers and practitioners working in the region.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Contributors

Preface and Acknowledgments


Ina Kubbe and Aiysha Varraich

Part 1: Conceptualising the Mechanisms and Dynamics of Corruption and Informal Practices in the MENA region

  1. Dispersing the Fog: A Philosophical Analysis of Institutional Corruption Applied to the MENA Region
  2. Gizem Kaya and Georgy Kopshteyn

  3. Hamulas and Structural Corruption in The Middle East
  4. Mohammed Khalaily and Doron Navot

  5. Assessing the Impact of Sectarian Patronage in Lebanon
  6. Patty Zakaria

  7. Does Wasta Undermine Support for Democracy? Corruption, Clientelism and Attitudes toward Political Regimes
  8. Lindsay J. Benstead, Lonna Rae Atkeson and Muhammad Adnan Shahid

    Part 2: Successes and Failures of Anti-corruption Initiatives

  9. Sweeping under the Rug: The Limitations and Failures of the Formal Fight Against Corruption in Morocco
  10. Ángela Suárez-Collado and Sergio García-Rendón

  11. Old Wine in New Bottles? Corruption and Neopatrimonial Statehood in Turkey
  12. Digdem Soyaltin Colella

  13. "Corruption Eruption"? The Israeli Case
  14. Doron Navot and Ina Kubbe

    Part 3: The Way Forward – Empowering women as a Tool to reduce corruption

  15. Is Poor Performance in Gender Equality Linked to Higher Corruption in the Middle East?
  16. Amy Alexander

  17. Women, Corruption and Wasta in Jordan – A Case Study in Female Elected Representatives
  18. David Jackson, Sarah A. Tobin, and Jennifer Philippa Eggert

  19. Between Leadership and Kinship: Women Empowerment in the GCC Countries
  20. Rahma Abdulkadir and Henriette Müller

  21. Support for Gender Quotas and Perceived Corruption in Developing Democracies: Evidence from Lebanon

Marwa Shalaby

Conclusion and Future Prospects

Ina Kubbe and Aiysha Varraich


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Ina Kubbe, Post-Doctoral Researcher, The School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Aiysha Varraich, PhD Candidate, Quality of Government Institute, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.


"This volume is destined to become an instant classic on corruption and informal practices in the MENA region. Leading authorities shed light on lies beyond the shadows." -- Robert Looney, Distinguished Professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, USA.

"In this innovative collection, a new generation of scholarship finds a way of disaggregating the umbrella term of ‘corruption’ for the purposes of precision in study and policy-making in the Middle East and Northern Africa. They focus on the sensitive issues as to whether, and at which point informal practices, widely adopted and often associated with culture, actually turn into corruption. The book sheds light on why some anti-corruption strategies have worked and others have not, and explores the potential of empowering women and facilitating the use of personal networks, thus integrating ‘what works’ into the anti-corruption policy implementation and offering context-sensitive solutions to the persistent issues in the region." -- Alena Ledeneva, Founder of the Global Informality Project, Professor of Politics and Society, UCL, United Kingdom