1st Edition

Corruption and Informal Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

Edited By Ina Kubbe, Aiysha Varraich Copyright 2020
    252 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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



    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