Iraq + 2 more

Arab Civil Society at the Crossroad: Assessing Engagement in Anti-Corruption Efforts

Originally published


Executive Summary

With the rise of the Arab Spring, and increasing attention and activism to combat corruption within the Arab countries, it is critical to assess how state structures, environments, values and regional dynamics themselves impact the role of various sectors in leading such anti-corruption initiatives. Because of the increasing role that civil society has played in terms of combating and raising awareness to corruption during the Arab Spring era, this research attempts to assess what factors have influenced the level of this sector’s involvement both prior to and post 2011 Arab Spring in various Arab country contexts.
The results indicated that civil society organizations, for a long time, were distorted and underwent systematic violation by ruling regimes in order to restrict the emergence of any opposition movements. Therefore, the civil society sector in the Arab region has not been recognized, faced many violations and limitations of their freedom of expression, association, and their independence. Before the “Arab Spring”, civil societies in the Arab region had a concrete role on campaigning and advocating to ending the Israeli occupation, while after the ignition of the “Arab Spring”, civil societies in the Arab region seemed to overlook the previous goal and started struggling to fight corruption and put an end for the dictating ruling regimes. The “Arab Spring” was perceived as an alarming sign that Arab civil societies are ready to take over power for democratic changes and ruling of law.
The findings of this research will be used to formulate recommendations for key national and international stakeholders regarding programming and next steps. The researchers have employed an “Arab Lens” of analysis and conducted fieldwork in two case study countries, Jordan, Iraq, and Tunisia, to inform their findings and subsequent recommendations.