Transitions to Good Governance
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Transitions to Good Governance

Creating Virtuous Circles of Anti-corruption

Edited by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and Michael Johnston

Why have so few countries managed to leave systematic corruption behind, while in many others modernization is still a mere façade? How do we escape the trap of corruption, to reach a governance system based on ethical universalism? In this unique book, Alina Mungiu-Pippidi and Michael Johnston lead a team of eminent researchers on an illuminating path towards deconstructing the few virtuous circles in contemporary governance. The book combines a solid theoretical framework with quantitative evidence and case studies from around the world. While extracting lessons to be learned from the success cases covered, Transitions to Good Governance avoids being prescriptive and successfully contributes to the understanding of virtuous circles in contemporary good governance.
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Chapter 2: The atypical achievers: Botswana, Qatar and Rwanda

David Sebudubudu, Lina Khatib and Alessandro Bozzini


This chapter looks at three atypical achievers. Botswana, Qatar and Rwanda are understood as countries that went through remarkable reform processes. They are nearly the only regional achievers in two difficult regions, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. As such they are highly promoted by the international anti-corruption community. Analyzing them allows us to understand what a governance context based on ethical universalism is—and what it is not. Botswana represents a state which transited from patriarchalism, but modernized only partly. As such, it does not fit the pattern of a successful transition. The lessons we can learn from Botswana are thus very specific to a country with high traditional authority, leaders committed to public integrity and a rule of law tradition. Qatar is another outstanding case; in international corruption rankings it is often placed above countries like Belgium, France or the United Kingdom. At a closer look, however, it shows many of the characteristics of a particularistic regime: a rentier system, a strict top-down governance system, and a lack of budget transparency and press freedom. Despite this it engaged in more reforms to fight corruption than other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and thus represents an interesting case to study. Rwanda similarly is often considered one of the rare success cases in the African context. Good governance is credited for much of the positive development with regard to Rwanda’s business environment or its good performance on a number of socio-economic indicators. Its perceived anti-corruption success is founded on a rigid campaign against petty bribery and administrative corruption. Yet, Rwanda is still lacking in accountability, transparency and citizen participation, and political corruption remains widespread. Although the cases in this chapter offer valuable lessons, they do not provide examples of countries which have fully transitioned to ethical universalism.

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