Corruption

An Expiry Date for Despots?

A new wave of Arab uprisings suggests that the authoritarian bargain of the past may be collapsing. While thousands of Algerian citizens have continued to protest peacefully for the 40th consecutive week, demanding an accountable government and an end to corruption, streets in Iraq and Lebanon have turned into places of mass protests and ongoing confrontations between angry citizens and…

Across the Middle East, they are done with false prophets ​

When do demonstrations become a revolution? We romanticise the failures of the Arab Spring. But success has its costs, too. In the modern Middle East, only the Iranian Revolution has succeeded in bringing a new ruling class to power. But the 1979 revolution failed to bring about what the philosopher Michel Foucault predicted would be a new political dawn –…

Lebanese protesters don’t trust their government to reform. Here’s why.

In Lebanon, mass anti-government protests that started last Thursday are now a multiday general strike. These demonstrations appear to be the largest and widest-reaching in the country’s history. On Monday, Prime Minister Saad Hariri responded with proposed concessions, saying that protesters have shaken the political parties and challenged blind loyalties to sect. But protesters aren’t buying it. And while Hariri…

Judges, bribes, and verdicts: How court experience reshapes attitudes about judicial corruption among Morocco’s most marginalized

When do citizens believe in corruption’s effectiveness? Using an original, nationally representative survey of 1201 Moroccan respondents, this article highlights the conditions under which citizens affirm (or deny) the importance of corruption to getting favourable decisions from public officials. Specifically, the survey centres on judicial corruption, finding that 76 per cent of citizens agree that bribing judges produces favourable verdicts….

How humiliation is fueling the Arab street

…Consequently, many Arabs say in surveys that they wish to emigrate or are thinking about this. The Arab Barometer project that surveys the entire region every few years recently released the results of its 2018-19 fieldwork. In a June 2019 report entitled Migration in the Middle East and North Africa, by Michael Robbins of Princeton University, it noted that about…

Youth driving opposition to Iraqi corruption

…. Like other Arab countries that are going through transition and crises, it is the youth that are the main drivers of protests and change. A recent survey of youth in the region by the Arab Barometer found that less than half of Iraqi youths identify as religious and only 21 percent are interested in politics. Only 6 percent are…

Ben Ali: the Tunisian autocrat who laid the foundations for his demise

…..Still not out of the woods Following the initial euphoria after he went into went into exile, Tunisians have become increasingly disillusioned with their government. In the most recent survey by Arab Barometer in late 2018, 79% of adults thought that government performance was poor, 92% that the state of the economy was bad and 90% that the government was…