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.

chapter |20 pages


part I|79 pages

Conceptualising the mechanisms and dynamics of corruption and informal practices in the MENA region

chapter 1|20 pages

Dispersing the fog

A philosophical analysis of institutional corruption applied to the MENA region

chapter 4|23 pages

Does wasta undermine support for democracy?

Corruption, clientelism, and attitudes toward political regimes

part II|57 pages

Successes and failures of anti-corruption initiatives

chapter 5|16 pages

Sweeping under the rug

The limitations and failure of the formal fight against corruption in Morocco

chapter 6|21 pages

Old wine in new bottles?

Corruption and neopatrimonial statehood in Turkey

chapter 7|18 pages

“Corruption Eruption”?

The Israeli case*

part III|78 pages

The way forward – empowering women as a tool to reduce corruption

chapter 9|16 pages

Women, corruption, and wasta in Jordan

A case study in female elected representatives

chapter 10|19 pages

Between leadership and kinship

Women empowerment in the GCC countries