Understanding corruption from an ethical vantage point: the cases of Tunisia and Egypt
Telatar, Ayder Ozan
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This research elicits a thorough discussion on the normative aspects of the determinants of corruption. The crux of the argument focalizes around the notions of frustration and resentment in societies where the corruption rate is high. The main discussion on the theoretical part revolves around how self-interest centered actions hinder normativity on political decision making. Drawing on the literature on the ethical relativism, the second part of the research particularly focuses on the socio-political landscape of the respective country cases of Tunisia and Egypt to assess the extent to which the commonsense ethical dispositions affect the sustenance of higher rates of corruption. The examination of relevant social, political and economic parameters reveals that individual interests for private gains are likely to generate more corruption. Tunisia and Egypt cases demonstrate that rampant corruption juxtaposed to high levels of social distrust and resentment against the ruling elite is likely to turn into uprisings. From this perspective, this research elicits a novel way of understanding the causes of widespread public dissent both before and during the Arab Spring.