This paper is an attempt at showing the relationship between a rent-based economy, factionalism and corruption. The premise is that without an understanding of the culture of rent, factionalism and corruption, attempts at political and economic reform will not succeed.

The paper is based on a keynote study submitted to a workshop sponsored by the Arab Anticorruption Organization (AACO) and held in Beirut, Lebanon, on 24 October 2008. Economists, former cabinet ministers, and political scientists participated in a spirited discussion about a new reading of political and economic reform in the Arab World. The original study suggested a direct link between financial and economic rent, the political system, and corruption in Arab countries.

The basic postulate behind the study is that political and economic reforms undertaken in the Arab World are deemed to fail. Such failure is evident by the slow growth rates of economic, political, and social components of Arab society. Though the writer acknowledges the direct impact of external factors on the slow pace of development and growth, nonetheless there is a firm belief that domestic systemic and structural factors have stunted development efforts politically, economically, and socially.

Read full text here  The culture of rent, factionalism and corruption: a political economy of rent in the Arab World



rent-based economy

rentier state





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