Policy Brief

On the Need to Carefully Calibrate International Sanctions as an Instrument to Fight Corruption in the MENA Region

February 2023


Businesses thriving on corrupt behaviour and a weak and corrupt public sector often go hand in glove. The public sector is either the counterpart of corrupt business people, or is responsible for contributing to poor governance by failing to implement laws and regulations, or actively protects corrupt players via a corrupt, or simply incompetent, judiciary system. For corruption to grow in the private sector, authorities have to be complicit and, when they are, a culture of corruption starts spreading. There may be individuals in the public sphere that fight corruption ferociously but it is often not enough to address its systemic nature.

In this Policy Brief, Alain Bifani provides an insightful overview on the power of international sanctions imposed by the external world lead to an improvement of the elites’ behaviour. International sanctions constitute one item within the whole range of weapons, and they have to be as precise and well-calibrated as possible to achieve their goal with minimum collateral damage.

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