Discussion Papers

No.817 Development and Anti-Corruption in the Era of Reforms in the GCC States

by Hirotake Ishiguro

March 2021


This paper examines the negative correlations that governance-related indicators and "democratic" parliamentary politics have with political freedom and why democratic political institutions have not worked well in promoting good governance, through the case of corruption in Kuwait. Analysis of cross-national quantitative data shows a positive correlation between democracy/democratization and less corruption, but, in the earlier stages of democratization and during intermediate democracy, corruption can erupt. Through empirical observations, this paper examines the following hypotheses: (1) the timing of the establishment of an effective enforcement agency affects the outcome of anti-corruption policy; (2) competitive elections incentivize vote-buying to allow the government to preserve the status quo; and (3) media freedom exposes corruption and amplifies corruption perceptions through the electoral campaigns of the opposition.

Keywords: GCC, Development, Anti-Corruption, Democratization, Kuwait

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