Corruption, Cohesion and the Rule of Law

Roger Sapsford, Gerasimos Tsourapas, Pamela Ann Abbott

Research output: Working paper

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Corruption provokes much anger in MENA and was important as a trigger in the Arab Uprisings it was government corruption that sparked the greatest anger among the population. The argument of this Report is (a) that government corruption is a major and obvious breach of trust, (b) that the same is true for ‘civil’ corruption – ‘wasta’ in employment, business corruption - and (c) that corruption is a special case of breach of the Rule of Law which is essential for a decent society. The initial focus on corruption leads to consideration of what people think they can reasonably expect from government and from each other. Ultimately, corruption breaks the cords that hold modern societies together; it is an attack on social cohesion.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAberdeen
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2017

Publication series

NameArab Transformations Working Paper series
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
ISSN (Electronic)2398-9106

Bibliographical note

The Arab Transformations Project is coordinated by the University of Aberdeen (UK) and includes a further 11 partners: Dublin City University (DCU), Dublin, Ireland; Análisis Sociológicos Económicos y Políticos (ASEP), Madrid, Spain; Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale (ISPI), Milan, Italy; Universität Graz (UNI GRAZ), Graz, Austria; Societatea Pentru Methodologia Sondajelor ConcluziaPrim (Concluzia), Chisinau, Moldova; Centre de Recherche en Économie Appliquée pour le Développement (CREAD), Algiers, Algeria; Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (BASEERA); Cairo, Egypt; Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies (IIACSS), Amman, Jordan; University of Jordan (JU), Amman, Jordan; MEDA Solutions (MEDAS), Casablanca, Morocco; Association Forum Des Sciences Sociales Appliquées (ASSF); Tunis, Tunisia.
The author would also like to acknowledge the World Values Survey, Arab Barometer and Gallup Analytics on whose survey data they draw. We are also grateful to Viola Sanelli and Ilia Xypolia, at the University of Aberdeen, for material they supplied on the history and politics of the region.

The project received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no #320214.


  • MENA
  • Uprisings
  • Arab Spring
  • Corruption
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Democracy
  • Cohesion


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