Presentation on theme: "EuropeAid Putting Corruption in the Context A Socio-Anthropological Perspective Giorgio Blundo Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Marseille,"— Presentation transcript:
EuropeAid Putting Corruption in the Context A Socio-Anthropological Perspective Giorgio Blundo Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Marseille, France
EuropeAid Session Objectives Provide some insights from recent anthropological research on corruption practices and representations Provide an analytical grid in order to understand how corruption works in a specific socio-cultural setting Open a debate on the implications of adapting anti- corruption policies to a country context.
EuropeAid A Qualitative Research the first systematic comparative anthropological study on everyday corruption in Africa Three countries (Benin, Niger, Senegal) + Mauritania Corruption in customs and transport, justice, health, public procurement, development projects, forestry services To study the complex of corruption: all practices involving the incorrect (illegal and/or illegitimate) use of a public office which result in the procurement of unwarranted private or collective advantages.
EuropeAid Main Findings Corruption is embedded in multiple levels of the social, administrative and cultural context Corruption is not just a symptom of the failure of a system of governance. It is a specific mode of governance Everyday corruption is a social activity which is regulated de facto and in accordance with complex rules, and tightly controlled by a series of tacit codes and practical norms.
EuropeAid The Basic Forms of Corruption Commission for illicit services: the official benefits in part from the illicit gain that he helps the user to obtain Unwarranted payment for a public service: a service that is normally provided free of charge, on which a private charge is imposed The gratuity: a spontaneous gesture on the part of the user, generally viewed as entirely legitimate Favouritism The tribute or toll: exhorted without any kind of intermediation or service, either legal or illegal, actually being supplied Sideline and moonlighting: work places and resources are widely used by personnel for private ends Embezzlement
EuropeAid Degrees of legitimacy Forms of corruptionType of interactionDegree of legitimacy GratuitySpontaneous transactionLegitimate Commission for illicit serviceNegotiated transactionHighly ambivalent String-pulling, favours, nepotism Spontaneous transactionLegitimate Unwarranted fee for a public service Negotiated transaction or extortion Predominantly illegitimate Tribute or tollExtortionIllegitimate Sideline and moonlightingAppropriation Predominantly legitimate EmbezzlementAppropriationHighly ambivalent
EuropeAid Corruption is embedded in administrative practices and bureaucratic cultures (1) Bureaucratic logics of organization and management o Parallel orders and hierarchies A two-speed bureaucracy Unofficial classification of administrative posts o Strongly skewed and top-down allocation of human and material resources The institutionalisation of « informal » state agents and administrative brokers Field officers acquire significant autonomy and their operations are effectively privatised
EuropeAid Corruption is embedded in administrative practices and bureaucratic cultures (2) o This informal privatisation is not synonymous with predation and is not incompatible with provision of public service. In certain cases corruption can ensure the survival of the public service. o Transfers as the unique mode of internal sanction Public services delivery o Ambivalence of administrative relationships: between dehumanization and over-personalization o Negotiated enforcement of law
EuropeAid Some socio-cultural logics that contribute to banalize corrupt behaviour Pluralism on institutions and norms ----> civil servant are subjected to different competing regimes of accountability Obligations of solidarity and redistribution New ethos of social achievement: o Ostentation and over-monetization o Social positive value of craftiness and of « challenging the State » Due to their extensive proximity to or interpenetration with common and normal social practices, corrupt practices are largely justified or excused in the eyes of the actors But people simultaneously condemn the practices that they justify. How do they deal with his paradox? With a cross- cutting moral principle: theres no need to overdo it
EuropeAid Implications for anticorruption policies No unique or uniform solution for such a complex, ambivalent and multi-form phenomenon Conceive interventions that « work with the grain » and not « against the grain » of local societies Need for more qualitative research providing fresh insights on mechanisms and representations of corruption in different areas of service delivery Honest behaviour has a high social cost: complete integrity is a luxury or virtue that is beyond the scope of the majority of the citizens of these countries under current circumstances However, local reformers and « highlands of integrity » do exist. How to support and encourage such initiatives? Civil societys dilemma: counter-power or « good governance brokers »?