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Corruption and Development: The Political Conditions for Economic Development


Professor Mustapha K. Al-Sayyid

Dr. Salah S. Zarnoka

That economic development requires a favorable political context seem unanimously accepted by experts and by the concerned public as well.

Is elimination of corruption one of these conditions? The answer to this question is far from simple. While corruption is ethically condemnable, it has been an integral part of political life in many countries, of different economic and social systems and at varying levels of development. All agree, however, that it should be fought.

This book, which grew out of a cooperative relationship between Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Center for the Study of Developing Countries of Cairo University, strives to propose ways of limiting corruption, by suggesting that transparency, accountability and good governance be political conditions that should be respected in the work of the government and in the process of economic development.

The authors of the different chapters of the book start by reflecting on the content of the political conditions for development and unethical practices in public administration, then they examine cases of Singapore and Germany, two countries which succeeded in limiting corruption according to reports of Transparency International, before they delve into cases which became associated with rampant corruption. The third part of this book deals with corrupt practices in Arab countries, relying in the case of Egypt on court documents related to the trials of those responsible for such practices.

The book ends with some reflections on how to limit corruption in the work of the government. The authors of these closing chapters inquire whether democracy and human development offer the best context for meeting conditions of transparency, accountability and good governance, which are necessary not only for economic development, but for any development worthy of this name.