Bad Governance and Failure of Development Progress in Egypt Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Dr. Wael Omran Aly

Abstract


This article argues that the accumulative bad governance in Egypt over three decades and its failure to realize the intended development for the people represents one of the main reasons why people revolted. Bad governance contributed to the fall of Mubarak regime in three fundamental ways: first, it created the conditions (such as rampant corruption, violation of human rights and absence of rule of law) that served to inspire public action against the rulers; second, it led to the breakdown of core elements critical for regime stability (within the bureaucracy and the judiciary for example) and third it catalyzed the middle-class  who played a key role in agitating for the uprisings via Face-book and other social media. However, in exposing the dynamics of bad governance in Egypt, this article suggests that the problem is not only one of governance gone badly; but also the lack of comprehensive ‘good governance’ paradigm capable to overcome bad governance aspects. So, by focusing only on institutional reform, the good governance paradigm did not capture the way in which actors, processes and values become diffuse across the state–society divide.

A relational governance approach would be more analytically useful in capturing and engaging with some of these dynamics. Whereby, through partnership adoption-which is one of good governance pillars- decentralization of powers and responsibilities from a higher to a lower level of government should been held out as an answer to a multitude of diverse political challenges to realize the desired societal development. It is often assumed that as an organizing principle, decentralization reduces corruption by bringing government closer to the people (citizens' empowerment). Citizens are central to this thinking in terms of sensitizing them to public ethics. (Re)orienting public officials towards becoming reflective (responding) public officials according to new public management perspective (NPM) that may pave the way for effective development administration (DA) resurrection; which might be capable to translate people aspirations into actions; that could be more pertinent to recent revolutionary events in much of the Arab world countries as Egypt.  

 A relational governance approach would be more analytically useful in capturing and engaging with some of these dynamics. Whereby, through partnership adoption-which is one of good governance pillars- decentralization of powers and responsibilities from a higher to a lower level of government should been held out as an answer to a multitude of diverse political challenges to realize the desired societal development. It is often assumed that as an organizing principle, decentralization reduces corruption by bringing government closer to the people (citizens' empowerment). Citizens are central to this thinking in terms of sensitizing them to public ethics. (Re)orienting public officials towards becoming reflective (responding) public officials according to new public management perspective (NPM) that may pave the way for effective development administration (DA) resurrection; which might be capable to translate people aspirations into actions; that could be more pertinent to recent revolutionary events in much of the Arab world countries as Egypt.

 

Key words: bad governance, development administration, new public management.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v3i4.4340

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