أسس دراسة الفساد المنتج والفساد غير المنتج

أسس دراسة الفساد المنتج والفساد غير المنتج 

4. Effective corrupt political leadership in Lebanon

While corruption has become a major research field across the social sciences, research into corruption in the Middle East has largely taken the form of descriptive economic studies (e.g., Mehanna, 2003; Treisman, 2000). For example, the Global Corruption Report, 2003 (Transparency International, 2003) observed that a regional recession in the Middle East led to an increase in petty corruption among underpaid public employees, while simultaneously causing a decrease in grand corruption by high-level officials who experienced a decrease in state capital investing (Short, 2002). Both types of corruption flourished in Lebanon during the administration of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who adopted a highly pragmatic policy for rebuilding postcivil war Lebanon. During his incumbency, prominent parliamentary leaders systematically engaged in grand corruption schemes such as collecting a 20% fee for acquiring lucrative state contracts for friends or relatives (Safa, 2002). The absence of any meaningful political reforms in Lebanon over sixty years had embedded such corrupt practices into every aspect of Lebanese life (Khatib, 2002; Neal & Finlay, 2008; Sidani, Zbib, Ahmed, & Moussawer, 2006).

Given the historically rooted nature of state corruption (Johnson, 1986; Sidani et al. 2006), it could be argued that a Lebanese prime minister could only rebuild Beirut's post-civil-war town center, airport and highway system by engaging with the established web of corruption. In essence, it was an unavoidable and required part of doing the dirty work of being prime minister (Johnson, 1986). Rafik Hariri certainly fits this characterization (Becherer, 2005; Nizameddin, 2006; Schmid, 2006). The following section examines his options and actions as he led Lebanon's reconstruction.


4.1. Rafik Hariri and the rebuilding of Lebanon

Rafik Hariri (19442005), a Lebanese billionaire construction tycoon, was his country's prime minister from 1992 to 1998 and from 2000 to 2004, when Syria forced his October resignation (Abu Rizk, 2004). As a former Saudi diplomatic representative, he played a major role in constructing the 1990 Ta'if Accord that ended Lebanon's sixteen year civil war, during which 150,000 people perished – a mortality figure greater than all the deaths produced in the combined ArabIsraeli conflicts (Miller, 2005; Sbaiti,1994).This paper defines effectiveness in public office in terms of welfare objectives. House, Spangler, and Woycke (1991), however, took a broader view, and focused on internationaleconomic” and social/domestic” policies to measure the leadership effectiveness of twentieth century U.S. presidents. Using these three levels of policy, it can be argued that Hariri was a highly effective leader (beyond welfare objectives) during the ten years he served as prime minister between 1992 and 2004. Major diplomatic accomplishments included his role as a principal negotiator of the 1990 Taif Accord; and his fifteen year foreign campaign to fund Lebanon's post-war reconstruction (Miller, 2005; Sbaiti, 1994). See Appendices A and B.Instead of receivingwidespread praise for these actions, however, Hariri wasmaligned by critics for alleged corrupt practices in rebuilding Beirut's central district (Becherer, 2005). In 1999, Selim Hoss (b. 1929), a former Sunni prime minister and long time Hariri rival, created a board of accountants and attorneys called the National Integrity Steering Committee (Dick, 2002). The related Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA), a Vienna-based anti-crime organization, signed a protocol with the Hoss government in 2000 to collect information, and prepare a national anti-corruption strategy. Upon resuming the prime minister's office in October 2000, however, Hariri immediately froze the operations of the LTA, accusing it of pursuing a political witch-hunt. Subsequently, even some among Hariri's LTA critics admitted that Hoss' anti-corruption campaign was poorly conceived and implemented, and that it unfairly targeted Hariri and the Druze leader Walid Jumblat (b. 1949), a long time Hariri political ally (Safa, 2002). The HaririHoss political dispute raises two related questions: Firstly, did Hoss and his LTA supporters have the necessary legal evidence to secure a conviction against Hariri on corruption charges? Secondly, did they use the legalistic process to present to the public the appearance of impropriety to damage Hariri's reputation? Interestingly, none of Hariri's opponents ever filed corruption charges against him in a Lebanese court. This lack of formal prosecution suggests that critics pursued their campaigns at the level of the appearance of official impropriety. In addressing such issues, Morgan (1992) noted two paradoxes in appearance ethics” controversies: The Petty Blifil paradox: Political opponents such as Selim Hoss, useethical standards to attack relatively innocent individuals with accusations of impropriety.” Referring to Henry Fielding's analysis of this paradox in eighteenth century England in the classic novel Tom JonesMorgan (1992: 607608) observed: This paradox is named after Master Blifil, because in him we see a truly unethical person manipulating society's preoccupation with appearances in order to achieve unethical ends. Blifil not only fabricates his own ethical reputation by appearing to be quite proper, he almost completely eliminates Tom (Jones) as a rival by constructing – again, out of appearances – such a grave case of immorality against Tom that the thoroughly decent Allworthy feels compelled to expel him from Paradise Hall. Petty Blifil has many contemporary manifestations, one of which occurred in the Keating Five case. The Grand Blifil paradox: Grand Blifil involves the manipulation of appearances at the institutional level to persuade the public that the government is operating properly and ethically, while in fact these institutions are engaging in systematic patterns of corruption. For instance, Syrian presidential leaders backed Selim Hoss as prime minister between 1998 and 2000 to give the appearance of good government in Lebanon, while systematically exploiting the country politically and economically (see Sakr,2005). This had been common policy since 1976, when Christian Maronite leaders invited Syrian intervention during the civil war (Council for Good Governance in Lebanon, 2004, hereafter CGGL).

As we shall see, Hariri's opponents took the following steps in their labeling campaign to publicly define him as a corrupt prime minister:

Grand Blifil tactics:

1. Using Lebanon's national history of corruption for pursuing a covert Syrian political agenda, namely Syrian-backed President Lahoud and SelimHoss' use of anti-corruption campaigns against Hariri to pursue Syria's strategy of politically and economically exploiting Lebanon (Sakr, 2005; Rigby, 2000);

2. Using anti-corruption campaign attributions as an institutional mechanism to prevent an equal sharing of power between Emile Lahoud, a Maronite president whose major bases of political support were the Assad rulers of Syria and the Lebanese Army, and his political rival, Hariri, a Sunni prime minister, whose major bases of political power included the French president, Jacques Chirac and the ruling family of Saudi Arabia (Ajami, 2005).3Petty Blifil tactics:

1. Anti-corruption opponents' campaign to portray Hariri as a corrupt Syrian agent (Adwan & Sahyoun, 2001);

2. Moral tainting of political office holding in Lebanon;

3. The labeling of opponents as corrupt by capitalizing on personal trait vulnerabilities; and lack of leadership and task-relevant knowledge (House & Aditya, 1997).

According to his opponents, Hariri's corruption enormously enlarged the 1992 public debt to rebuild post-war Lebanon – from U.S.$ 5.1 billion to $35 billion in October 2004, when Hariri resigned as prime minister (see Becherer, 2005). Moreover, these critics solicited votes among less affluent voters by accusing Hariri's real estate firm (Solidere) of illegally expropriating the land of thousands of moderate and low income landowners to rebuild post-war Beirut's city center, and paying these small property owners only a pittance of the real value of their government-seized land holdings(Becherer, 2005). What evidence did Hariri's opponents produce to support claims that he used political corruption to seize downtown land and illegally fund this state activity? Opponents emphasized the appearance of impropriety while Hariri operated Solidere during his premiership. First, they pointed to the fact that Solidere was run as a quasi-public agency, staffed at the highest levels by Hariri's close friends and former employees (Adwan & Sahyoun, 2001; Lebanon Newswire, 1997). This type of conflict of interest, however, was not legally a crime in Lebanon (Johnson, 1986). Secondly, critics were less than candid about the economic restitution that former downtown landowners received for their seized property. Over 30,000 property holders received U.S. $1.17 billion worth of Solidere A share stock (Lebanon Newswire, 1997). This represented about 60% of all stock publicly sold at the Initial Public Offering (IPO). Hariri was criticized for owning 8% of this stock at this time (Adwan& Sahyoun, 2001), but his critics ignored two things: 1) Hariri's percentage of Solidere's total stock was approximately 7.5 times smaller than that of former small downtown Beirut property owners; and, 2) that without Solidere, there was no private investor willing to assume the risk of rebuilding central Beirut, as Hizballah waged a prolonged conflict with Israeli forces in Southern Lebanon between 1982 and 2000 (Norton & Schwelder, 1994). In spite of the criticisms, Hariri's staff listed Solidere in European financial markets to attract new foreign investors, and complied with these markets' disclosure and accounting requirements.


5. Rafik Hariri as a Syrian agent

According to critics, Haririwas appointed prime minister by the Syrians in 1992 and proved himself to be a loyal servant of Damascus during his (first) six years in power. In fact, his ties to Syria long preceded this appointment – it was Hariri's construction company that built the presidential palace in Damascus” (Gambill & Nassif, 2000).

After Hariri's unexpected landside parliamentary victories in 2000, Gambill and Nassif (2000) challenged Hariri's independence from Syrian President, Bashar Assad, and his secret state police apparatus in Lebanon by stating that: 1) Hariri had included Bassem Yamout on his electoral ticket – Bassem Yamout had been a personal friend of President Assad during his early medical studies in London. 2) After his parliamentary election, Hariri appointed one of Assad's business associates as transportation minister in his new cabinet. 3) Prior to the 2000 nationwide parliamentary election, Hariri, as a partner in an Arab consortium, invested U.S. $100 million in Syrian development projects. 4) Under Syrian military protection, Hariri-backed candidates, especially in the South and Beqaa region, systematically bought votes by offering $100 per vote, and promised extensive social and health care services. During the election, pro-Syrian troops illegally entered polling stations, many of which did not install voting booth curtains; and posters of Syrian-backed candidates were prominently displayed within them.

Government vehicles were also illegally used to transport voters to the polls.



6. Understanding the corrupt environment

Gelfand, Lim, and Raver (2004) argued that national cultures develop cognitive maps of how various individuals, groups, and organizations are answerable or accountable to one another” (p. 137). Such cognitive maps, defined as accountability webs, specify the reciprocal expectations and duties between leaders and followers. Such webs define who is accountable, organizational levels of accountability, direction and strength of connections, and alignments in socio-political networks.

In their discussion of the GLOBE studies, House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman and Gupta (2004) argued that in order to appreciate people's ideas about leadership, one must understand how these ideas are embedded in indigenous socio-cultural systems and institutions. Cross-cultural experts describe Lebanon as a hierarchal (Hofstede, 2004; Johnson, 1986), collectivist (Hofstede, 2004) and culturally tight” society (Hofstede, 1980, 2004). The looseness/tightness dichotomy refers, to contrasting cultural systems that vary on the degree to which norms are clearly defined and reliably imposed” (Gelfand, Lim, & Raver, 2004: 146). Hofstede (1980) claimed that power distance was an initial operationalization of the looseness/tightness construct. Since Hofstede's survey indicated that Lebanese respondents scored relatively highly on power distance, it is reasonable to assume that, in these terms,

Lebanon is a tight” culture, i.e. there are many rather than few norms focused on one religious tradition; range of tolerable behavior is restricted; and tolerance for deviance is low. Gelfand et al. (2004: 144) predicted that in culturally tight societies, the strength of the connections in the accountability web is high, thus social standards are clearly specified and pervasive. Political scientists such as Johnson (1986) lend support to Hofstede's claims that Lebanese culture is hierarchal and collectivist, but only offer negative support for Hofstede (2004) and Gefland et al.'s (2004) predictions about various characteristics of the Lebanese political accountability web.

Two reasons explain why it is indeed problematic to extrapolate Hofstede's (2004) prediction that Arab cultures are tight cultures onto Lebanon:

First, unlike any other Arab nation, the dominant social/political group for the last two centuries has been the Christian Maronites, rather than a Sunni leadership group. Thus, Lebanon has had a sectarian society that allows each of its eighteen religious sects the political autonomy to define their own marriage and moral laws. Such diversity creates many different ethical norms, rather than one dominant religious code, as in other Arab countries; thus, few national rules and laws exist in many areas of life; range of tolerable behavior is very diverse among various sectarian groups; and range of deviance is very wide, e.g. Christian gambling houses in Beirut vs. ultra conservative Shi'a institutions in the South.

Lebanon is ostensibly democratic (Issawi, 1966: 80). The surface appearance of democracy, however, conceals a subculture of political corruption, embedded in a traditional political clientalist system, headed at the top by national zaims (leaders).

Interaction between this culture of corruption and wider Lebanese cultural traits has produced salient features in the national accountability web:

1) A religiously-skewed hierarchal locus of accountability.

According to seventh century Arabian Sunni religious beliefs, a community should have a single leader, e.g. The Prophet Mohammed, rather than collective leadership (Mottahedeh, 1980: 80). Although a triumvirate – a Maronite Christian president, a Sunni prime minister, and a Shi'a parliamentary speaker – connects the executive heads of Lebanon's government, the president of Lebanon has traditionally been the dominant de facto political decision-maker. This locus of accountability has thus traditionally heavily favored Maronite Christians at the expense of Muslim sects (Johnson, 1986).

2) Anti-corruption campaigns used to protect the concentration of presidential power.

To counter the rising political power of Shi'a and Sunni voters as the Lebanese population became increasingly more Islamic, Emile Lahoud, and other recent Maronite presidents, developed stronger ties to the Assad dynasty that ruled Syria (Hirst,2000). President Lahoud protected his political power by portraying himself and Selim Hoss – his personal choice for the prime minister's position – as having the reputation for honesty, modesty and hard work” (Hirst, 2000). In his victorious 1998 campaign against Hariri, Mr. Hoss raised the highest expectations. He began his term with a resounding critique of Lebanon's whole ruling class. He promised administrative reform, social justice, and an end to corruption” (Hirst, 2000).

3) Petty Blifil as a strategy to defeat those who supported Lebanese autonomy.

Syrian protégés, such as Lahoud, consistently engaged in the tactic of petty blifil, i.e. the practice of attacking opponents such as Hariri, with accusations of official impropriety. Hariri's political opponents succeeded in persuading many global/Lebanese stakeholder groups that he was indeed a corrupt” prime minister who had systematically looted the nation, despite never having been indicted or convicted on any of these allegations (CGGL, 2004). This anti-Hariri deviance labeling campaign is analogous to the situation that confronted the protagonist in Henry Fielding's novel, Tom Jones, in that both were accused by rivals of corruption when their main moral fault was the absence of prudence, the perceptual inability to appreciate the importance of appearances” (Morgan, 1992: 606).

4) Top-down unidirectional cross-level linkages in the political clientist system.

Lebanese culture's high power distance and uncertainty avoidance has led to top-down political processes in which decisions are unilaterally made by a single leader or a small managerial team, and then presented as fait accomplis to lower levels (Gelfand et al., 2004). This decision-making style inherently creates the appearance of official impropriety, as a top-level officeholder ignores layers of bureaucratic procedures in favor of swift and decisive unilateral action.

5) A decisive leadership style leads to the appearance of official impropriety

As a prominent example of this, consider Hariri's task of rebuilding 1990 Beirut. After the end of the civil war, Hariri's government quickly tore down most of the old Ottoman souk, which had been Beirut's main commercial market for several centuries. Instead of waiting for time-consuming environmental assessment reports, or introducing extensive reforms in government finance agencies riddled by generations of corruption, Hariri quickly pursued the rebuilding of downtown Beirut under the banner of economic revitalization (Charara, 1999). Western conservationists (Woollacott, 2001) and local residents complained that Hariri ignored government construction regulations by unilaterally deciding to destroy the old souk in favor of constructing a new and modern city skyline to rival that of Hong Kong or Singapore. Because Hariri owned 810% of the real estate firm that received the government contract for this project, few of his critics believed his claim that most of the old souk buildings had to be demolished because of extensive war damage. They instead attributed his destruction of the souk to an authoritarian decision-making style and official corruption, which they inferred from his personal investment in Solidere, the firm that rebuilt the old city center (Becherer, 2005). Opting for effectiveness’ as its sole criterion resulted in a worsening of the corruption that was already eating at the heart of the state” (Charara, 1999). Critics reasoned that Hariri's activities in rebuilding Beirut were a natural carryover of the nefarious business practices that many successful immigrant businessmen had used to succeed in the secret world of state/private sector building contracts in Saudi Arabia, where Hariri had already received billions of dollars in construction contracts.

6) Historical retrodiction leads to the appearance of official impropriety.

This aspect reveals Hariri's most important historical error in prediction. Although Hariri's reconstruction of downtown. Beirut appeared economically efficient in the early 1990s, when no other investors had the courage to invest in this high risk venture, he failed to recognize that such behavior would appear as corrupt” a decade later, when critics focused on his procedural high-handedness and disregard for global market norms (because at the time adhering to such norms was impractical or costly). Such critics thus preferred to taint Hariri with the charge of political corruption instead of focusing on his achievement in almost single-handedly rebuilding Beirut. Norton and Schwelder (1994: 62) described Hariri's leadership behavior in reconstructing Beirut as follows: Further, there is significant evidence that the government of Prime Minister

Rafik Hariri is moving deliberately and with integrity toward the reconstruction of Lebanon… To be fair, Hariri has acted with real backbone, and, if he survives politically and physically, he may succeed in being the father of the reconstruction of


A decade later, most media analysts ignored the risks and constraints that had impeded Solidere's reconstruction of Beirut's city center, producing evidence of Hariri's investment in Solidere to prove that it looks like he did something wrong.

7) Weak strength of linkages in the political accountability web.

Strength of web linkage is defined as both the clarity and pervasiveness of the connections between entities” (Gelfand et al., 2004). Recent demographic and political developments have changed the traditional web linkages in Lebanon: the emergence of Shi'a as the largest population group; major sectarian disagreements between Maronites and Islamic groups; inter-sectarian rivalries among wealthy Beiruti Sunnis and Iranian-oriented Hizballah (Shi'a) and Syrian-oriented Amal (Shi'a) communities. Because of these developments, the traditional clarity and pervasiveness of political accountability linkages have dissolved into frequent and bitter sectarian conflicts over the standards and expectations associated with various political accountability linkages. Individuals in loose cultures are primarily accountable to their own communities, and their personal accountability to state agencies is mediated by these primary sectarian allegiances (Gelfand et al., 2004). Thus, individuals generally have only weak links to public organizations.

8) Loose vertical web alignment within the presidentprime minister dyad.

A Maronite president is appointed by parliament to a six year non-renewable term (Haddad, 2002). Parliament also elects a Sunni prime minister, who serves at the president's pleasure. Between 1926 and 2004, 37 of 65 prime ministers served a term of less than one year. The high turnover rate indicates substantial structural friction between these two leaders because of a non-alignment of their political accountability webs. It also sustains the corruption circle, a non-virtuous cyclical activity, as each incoming prime minister creates a new cabinet whose members have to pay high bribes to secure their executive offices (Johnson, 1986).

Two recent events increased the friction between the president and prime minister's offices. In the current Middle East milieu, both of these leaders compete vigorously, although clandestinely, for American political support, which is essential for their political survival. Under Syrian occupation, the president was informally chosen by the Assad dynasty in Damascus, but this choice could effectively be vetoed by U.S. diplomats: For over a decade, Syrian officials have held intensive consultations with Washington before designating the Lebanese president. Indeed, most informed observers believe that one of the preconditions for America's tacit endorsement of the Syrian occupation is that this choice be made jointly” (Gambill, 2003).

Secondly, the 1990 Taif Peace Treaty included accords to equalize the power between the these two leaders, hoping to produce political equality between the traditionally dominant Maronite politicians and those representing the numerically dominant Muslim sects that composed about 70% of Lebanon's population (Norton & Schwelder, 1994). This tension between the two departments not only sustained complex webs of corruption and pay-offs. They eventually undermined Hariri's political capital (through Masoud's unattributed but active blifitactics), and eventually cost him his life, when he was assassinated by pro- Syrian agents in 2005. 

7. The moral taint of political office holding

In 2004, Selim Hoss, who served on three different occasions as Lebanon's prime minister, publicly stated, Hariri is the biggest corrupter in the country. Under his reign corruption has become a culture. He has corrupted the society by his money. [He] is the marketer of the culture of corruption” (Naharnet, 2003). Why did such anti-corruption charges morally taint Hariri's reputation among his opponents, but have such little impact among his Lebanese supporters? Certainly, sectarian disputes over the nature, extent, and harmfulness of political corruption raise or lower the accountability standards used to perceive and evaluate a leader's official behavior. These sectarian disputes influence how citizens attribute the valence of the motives they assign to a political officeholder (Hall, Blass, Ferris, & Massengale, 2004). For example, Sunni supporters of Hariri attributed positive motives (sincerity, conscientiousness and reliability) and thus a high reputation to their co-religionist prime minister's economic behavior in rebuilding post-civil war Beirut. Trust research (Hall et al., 2004) has indicated that if followers perceive a leader, like Hariri, acting in good faith, then they are more inclined to accept his decisions and forgive him for moral lapses in judgment” (p. 525).

For top-level leaders, this research indicates a negative relationship between accountability and reputation. Thus Hariri's high reputation for successfully rebuilding post-war Beirut from its ruins (Abdelnour, 2001) substantially lowered the accountability bar among his supporters for acknowledging and correcting the large amount of corruption that occurred during his two lengthy terms as prime minister.

In contrast, Hariri's political accountability bar was raised to a much higher level among his political opponents. One reason for this upward revision is the fact that many of Hariri's opponents attributed negative motives to his frequent use of corruption to achieve parliamentary/cabinet victories, or to complete economic projects. Rivals, such as Hoss, labeled Hariri's corrupt activities as systematic political crimes, rather than as accountability lapses” (Hall et al., 2004: 516), or some of the more euphemistic labels preferred by Hariri supporters. A second reason was that many Christian business leaders in 1990 were financially too weak to compete successfully against the newly arrived Hariri, who had returned to his native land with billions of dollars in construction assets from his successes in Saudi Arabia (Charara, 1999). To slow down Hariri's meteoric rise in Lebanese political and economic circles, they quickly resorted to anti-corruption allegations, hoping to capitalize on widespread anti-Saudi sentiments in Lebanon.

Importantly, Hariri's personality traits made him vulnerable as an easy target for such allegations. House and Howell (1992) argue that two types of charismatic leadership exist, namely personalized and socialized. Hariri was perceived as a personalized, charismatic primeminister, thus fitting House and Howell's (1992) profile of this leader type as self-aggrandizing, authoritarian, and exploitative by nature. A German political scientist (Perthes, 1996) described Hariri's leadership style as functional authoritarianism. As an example of this authoritarian nature, Hariri used the army to enforce the national ban on all labor strikes and political demonstrations. He also curtailed media pluralism by restricting the number of television and radio networks allowed to broadcast news, to only a handful of firms, mostly state operated or owned by Hariri and his ministers. Time Magazine (1993) addressed both the positive and negative aspects of Hariri's methods in pursuing his professional goals.

The magazine focused on his tendency towards self-aggrandizement, labeling him as Mr. MiracleEverything about Rafik Hariri is bigHis dreams go beyond self-advertising, aggrandizement or monuments to mammon. What he wants to do is remake an entire country.” The same story also attributed an authoritarian style to Hariri's decision-making and leadership, but noted that this style was also courageous in its decisiveness and diplomatic acuity. Unfortunately for Hariri, however, opponents focused on his vanity, excessive materialism and personal ambition, and used these to portray him to the public as greedy and corrupt. Such campaigns capitalized on Lebanon's long history of corrupt prime ministers, known for their personal aggrandizement and absence of social conscience (Johnson, 1986).

Lebanon has only been a parliamentary democracy since 1943. As a relatively new nation, it lacks the centuries of democratic tradition and political culture enjoyed by Western nations such as the United Kingdom (Barakat, 1979; Issawi, 1966). This lack of democratic traditions was a two-edged sword for a decisive and entrepreneurial leader like Hariri. He encountered minimal public resistance when imposing his style of functional authoritarianism on local citizens while pursuing new economic development projects; but this freedom of executive initiative also cost him dearly. Because of the absence of a strong pro-government officeholder ethos, any Lebanese prime minister finds himself operating in a weak political subculture, where few occupational traditions and norms exist to insulate the incumbent from corruption charges that are consistent with Lebanon's history of corrupt leadership. Faced with this predicament, Hariri generally failed to convince critics that his authoritarian actions should not be automatically construed as symptoms of official impropriety.

Hariri's inability to defuse opponents' corruption charges may partially be explained by the fact that he was not actually a career politician, but a business entrepreneur who entered politics in late middle age. He thus lacked personal knowledge of public sector norms and traditions. Ashforth and Kreiner (1999) observed that members of dirty” occupations insulate themselves from the moral taint of public criticism by developing strong occupational cultures as protective status shields. However, certain social conditions can inhibit the formation of strong job cultures. Ashforth and Kreiner (1999: 420) listed three such conditions that help to explain why a strong office holder” subculture did not form within Lebanese political circles. Physical isolation seriously limited the contact among high-level politicians, especially with numerous assassinations of prime ministers and presidents since 1970 (Johnson, 1986). Secondly, high turnover among parliamentary and cabinet members also inhibited the development of a strong occupational culture among officeholders. Such turnover, however, meant that the political wheel of corruption generated a larger revenue stream to its beneficiaries, since each parliamentary member paid bribes of upwards of U.S. $3 million for his seat (Abdelnour, 2001). Finally, the excessive amounts of required bribes for obtaining parliamentary seats increased interpersonal competition for such rewards, thus negating any pro-welfare sentiments among successful office seekers and further fractionalizing any potential protective” elite subculture.


8. Exploiting rival opponents' vulnerabilities: Leadership segmentation and the alignment of salient personality traits to emerging voter segments

In recent years, Sunni zaims (leaders) from upper class families have seen their political power erode, as ordinary Sunnis have voted for more charismatic champions under the banner of broad-based economic growth (Johnson, 1986). Of all Lebanese politicians, Sunni leaders have been most vulnerable to political change at the mass level” (El-Khazen, 2004). Seventy to eighty-five percent of Lebanese voters came from disadvantaged social positions (Hakim, 1966; Johnson, 1986) and thus could vicariously identify with Hariri's background as a struggling youth from Sidon who had to emigrate abroad to rise in life. His self-aggrandizing political style was a visible challenge to the more conservative lifestyles of Lebanon economic elites who were not known for their noblesse oblige. As Issawi (1966: 78) stated: What makes matters worse is that in Lebanon the rich are not noted for their discretion and restraint. Unlike the bourgeoisie of Syria, which has lived frugally and invested a large part of its income, the Lebanese have indulged in conspicuous consumption on a grand scale. Nor have they been noted for their social conscience and their attempts to better the lot of the masses.

Hariri's political successwas anchored on his decision to target the average Sunni and non-Maronite voter, realizing that his formof political charisma resonated more effectively among the Arab masses rather than Sunni elites. His use of campaign money in the form of open bribes succeeded, since these bribes reinforced the respect and enthusiasmthat average Muslims had for Hariri as a self-made billionaire. Such voter corruption was especially effective in Lebanon, where an estimated 75% of voters voted a straight ticket, not bothering to cross out names on their party's ticket and inserting the names of rival officeholders (Lebanon Daily Star, 2004).

A pro-Hariri online newspaper (Lebanon Newswire, 2004) described its prime minister's origins as follows: Commenced his life as a worker in Sidon's orange and apple farms. [Because of financial exigencies he] had to cut short his [college] education.

Worked as an accountant in Beirut where he also helped in proof reading in the evening. He then traveled to Saudi ArabiaFrom there on, Hariri directed his ambition to construction work and achieved great success, which, in a recent interview with Future TV, he said he owes it all to integrity.

 Selim Hoss, the highly educated Sunni economist who served as Lebanon's prime minister between 19761980, 19871990 and 19982000, was succeed by Hariri, a co-religionist, in 2000 (a) because he (Hariri) had offered a superior record of domestic economic performance between 1992 and 1998, and (b) because Hariri had used bribes to secure votes. In the aftermath of Hariri's victory, Hoss capitalized on the widespread domestic perception that Hariri had used his personalwealth towin a landslide victory, and punctured Hariri's national prestige as a trustworthy officeholder, despite the fact that it had been Hoss, not Hariri who had headed the Syrian puppet regime in West [Sunni] Beirut that facilitated Syria's takeover in 1990” (Gambill & Nassif, 2001). Hariri was never formally indicted for his unethical electoral campaign, though the damage done by Hoss in the aftermath of the election was immense. Hoss' public indictment was part of the political game in Lebanon where losers had the luxury to brand their winning opponents with the appearance of official impropriety. Hoss' indictment, however, was highly selective – an attack on an opponent, rather than on the corrupt systems of which he was party. He thus glossed over his own corrupt 2000 electioneering tactics; his use of the Syrian secret services in Lebanon to secure votes on his behalf; and the fact that Syrian minister had gerrymandered the voting districts in Lebanon to maximize his chances of winning. Despite the obvious weaknesses in his own moralizing position, Hoss' accusations tainted Hariri's reputation. A review of recent accountability research suggests the following reasons for the success of Hoss' petty blifil campaign, which was pursued in a grand blifil context.

8.1. Human capital advantage to Hoss

The attainment of advanced graduate degrees from prestigious universities enhances a leader's human capital (Judge, Cable, Boudreau, & Bretz, 1995). Hoss had gained an economics doctorate from Indiana University, whereas Hariri had been awarded an undergraduate degree from the Beirut Arab University. This human capital advantage substantially enhanced Hoss' political credibility and reputation compared to Hariri, especially among his political peers.

8.2. Domestic social capital advantage to Hoss

At the individual level, social capital is created by network actors who benefit from the entrepreneurial brokerage opportunities within a given network” (Hall et al., 2004: 520). Such networks among the Lebanese upper classes provided their members with superior access to financial resources, insider information, and career mentoring for aspiring politicians (Johnson, 1986). As a career government bureaucrat and academic in Beirut, Hoss enjoyed a decided advantage over Hariri who had spent most of his pre-1990 career in Saudi Arabia as a building magnate.

8.3. Career politician advantage to Hoss

Political skill allows influencers to effectively manage attributions of intentionality and to disguise self-serving opportunistic motives” (Hall et al., 2004: 523). As we have seen, Hoss had been a high-level career political officeholder since the early 1970s in Lebanon, while Hariri had been primarily a Saudi business tycoon up to 1992. Hoss was consequently more capable of presenting his private and public intentions as honest and free of moral taint than Hariri. As a political neophyte, Hariri left his public image vulnerable to a skilled politician like Hoss. For example, consider Time Magazine's (1993) account of Hariri's politically naïve public personality: Hariri's moments of ill temper, like his throaty, boisterous laugh, can take visitors by surprise. He does not accept criticism of his motives lightly, insisting that neither his financing of the plan to rebuild Beirut's commercial district nor his ownership of a radio station, two television stations and four newspaper titles constitutes a conflict of interest. Are you going to argue that the Prime Minister should be a poor man? If someone is rich and he is Prime Minister, the least he can do is put his holdings in a blind trust. That is what I have done.’” Hariri did not have the political skills to present his actions as complicated but well-intentioned efforts to separate his personal financial interests from his duties as prime minister.

Social identity theory offers some explanations as to why Hariri was unable to neutralize the moral taint of official impropriety charges against him (as other even more corrupt politicians were able to do). Political office holding in Lebanon can be seen as a form of dirty work, since it requires repeated instances of giving and receiving political bribes to remain in office. In some electoral districts, candidates for parliament must pay up to $3 million dollars to join a winning electoral slate. Once they are elected, entry into the cabinet carries an even higher price tag. Naturally, having bought their way into the political system, most ministers have few qualms about using their positions to recoup these expenses” (Abdelnour, 2001). Ashforth and Kreiner (1999:417) found that in some occupations, workers lacked a status shield” to deflect the negative social stereotypes that commonly were used to debase workers in a specific industry, such as being a cab driver. Hariri, as prime minister, had situated himself as the national cab driver for Lebanon's economy. As a political cab driver without the status shields of human and social capital, he was relatively defenseless against the better-educated and more socially connected cabinet members and parliament members who rode in the back seat of his hack. Local media streetlights only illuminated the perverse behavior of the driver in the front street; their restricted glare generally exempted back street passengers from public scrutiny.


9. Lessons for the study of corrupt leadership

Instead of focusing on legal issues, or traditional negative leadership traits of greed or dishonesty, this study has explored the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of Hariri's opponents' anti-corruption campaigns. For future leadership studies, it offers a starting point concerning leadership lock-in” and raises related strategic issues of how entrapped leaders and their followers should react to opponents' anti-corruption campaigns. Two further themes thus emerge:

1) An iron cage of official corruption for Lebanese leaders: Leadership entrapment in a corrupt national web of accountability. Because of the sectarian nature of Lebanon's executive triumvirate, and the ill-defined specification of the prime minister's duties under the Ta'if Accord (Norton & Schwelder, 1994), Hariri was positioned in circumstances that ensured that he had to engage in corruption to remain in office and implement his economic and diplomatic programs. Regardless of his own personal disposition towards using corruption to achieve his own political goals – a form of mediated corruption – the political situation required corrupt action of all participants. Thus under the current organizational rules constituting the Lebanese government, prime ministers are automatically locked into a matrix of corrupt practices. Such official corruption, thus, does not necessarily represent a flawed moral disposition in a majority country leader, but rather an institutionalized job requirement.

House and Aditya (1997: 411) described such contexts as strong situations. In a strong situation, the behavioral expression of a leader's dispositions is suppressed. The situational context restricts or even controls a leader's behavior. Thus, strong situations are those inwhich there are strong behavioral norms, strong incentives for specific types of behaviors, and clear expectations concerning what behaviors are rewarded and punished.” This observation is significant for future corruption and leadership research since it refocuses our attention away from Hariri's corrupt political practices to the anti-corruption campaigns that tainted him with the appearances of official impropriety. Hariri's reactions to these campaigns represented a weak situation” in which his vast fortune, ownership of a Lebanese media empire, and affiliations with elite U.S. business schools provided him with ample means to express his personal dispositions towards responding to his anti-corruption critics. The salient leadership paradox for Hariri was that although he was undoubtedly an effective corrupt leader it was not his official corruption, but his ineffective efforts to neutralize rivals' charges of official impropriety appearances that undermined him and his efforts to rebuild Lebanon. Despite his immense wealth, Hariri acted as if his administration were poor in human capital – in a nation that enjoyed an abundance of this human resource.

2) Hariri's Achilles' Heel and Leadership Handicapping: Self-imposed lack of intellectual capital and a subsequent policy vacuum reinforces leadership vulnerability to petty blifil tactics of moral tainting.

Although Hariri had the opportunity to respond with a free hand to his critics' corruption charges, he failed repeatedly to neutralize their negative labeling of his political administration. Hariri's opponents emphasized his immense personal wealth and his excessive reliance on his relatives and friends. Charara (1999) and Perthes (1996) noted that Hariri primarily appointed family members and close business associates to manage his daily political and personal affairs. This critique is partially incorrect. Hariri's disposition to delegate authority to close friends and relatives was arguably a necessity, since he averaged, in the 19921996 period, twenty-five trips annually outside Lebanon-Syria, to raise financial capital for rebuilding Beirut, and to negotiate and sign new regional free market trade accords. His style has thus been referred to as a form of delegated leadership (House & Aditya,1997: 457). However, critics' accusations of nepotism do contain truth. A heavy reliance on cronies seriously reduced Hariri's access to the intellectual talent required to counter Hoss and other opponents' anti-corruption charges. Unlike many majority world countries, Lebanon is noted for an abundance of educated intellectuals and government technocrats. In contrast to Hoss, who relied heavily on such talent to forge his political career, Hariri rarely tapped this intellectual talent pool. Hariri's lack of prudence, a virtue also absent in Henry Fielding's protagonist Tom Jones, can thus, in part, be explained by his inability to effectively use Lebanon's large human capital resource.

Hariri's failure to leverage professional/ academic human capital raises an interesting corollary. If Norton and Schwelder (1994: 62) were correct in asserting that Hariri was the George Washington of post-civil war Lebanon, their assessment erred by failing to note that Hariri appointed his business cronies, unlike the charismatic and pragmatic George Washington. The first American president appointed the brilliant attorney and political thinker, Alexander Hamilton, to define the formal doctrine of presidential prerogative, thus creating a powerful shield to protect him from the moral taint of Republican Party charges of corruption and dictatorship (Fastovic, 2004). It can thus be argued that Washington's sterling reputation as a founding American father was the result of Hamilton's skills to neutralize Republican opponents' anti-corruption charges against his mentor. In his initial presidential term, Washington operated in a culturally loose web of political accountability, as there were few hard and fast rules to designate what the president could legally do in his executive role (Fastovic, 2004). Thus, without Hamilton's creation of the prerogative doctrine, Americans may now remember Washington as a power hungry despot whose actions prefigured later Watergate-style corruption. Because of Hamilton's political skills, most contemporary American children do not learn about Washington's misdeeds. For Hariri, who failed to appoint a Hamilton-like advisor, Lebanese history will probably not be so generous.

That said, commentators from the developed world largely celebrated his undoubted achievements. Global reactions to Hariri's departure on October 20, 2004, and later obituaries after his 2005 assassination, were generally highly approving of his reconstruction of post-1990 Beirut, and his tireless international activities to finance domestic economic development projects.

Perhaps the highest praise came from a spokeswoman from the United Nations: Mr. Hariri's government has served his country commendably in difficult circumstances and has been a good partner for the international community in the best interest of Lebanon” (Associated Press, 2004).

It is interesting and instructive that the retrospective feting of his premiership from non-corrupt developed countries concentrated on his effectiveness, while comment from within Lebanon's corrupt system damned him as corrupt. These divergent views actually indicate a commonality in commentators' motivations, in that both views reflect naked self-interest: international feting was grounded in the European and American preference for a stable, developed, Lebanon; while the widespread and systematic character assassination of Hariri in Lebanon's media was partially the result of Hoss' self-interested petty blifil” tactics.

In spite of the self-interested nature of proclamations on Hariri's premiership, there is truth in both views. Hariri was indeed effective. He was also corrupt, but no more than other leaders throughout Lebanese society, and certainly no more than his rival, Selim Hoss. It is thus accurate to characterize Hariri's premiership as effective corrupt leadership, a type of leadership that engages with prevailing corrupt systems (as it has to), but which does so not merely for self-interest, but also for the sake of public welfare. As we have seen, such leadership requires enormous personal drive and political acumen. It is also not for the fainthearted, as it is far from sustainable, as the corrupt systems and practices that leaders use to attain and sustain power can be leveraged by others to discredit and topple them. A consideration of Rafik Hariri's premiership thus provides us with insights into the harsh realities of leading in the majority world. These insights may not lead us to sympathy for the devil, but they should encourage us (a) to address the realities of leading in developing world contexts, and (b) to ask how we can encourage more effective leadership in corrupt countries. Effective corrupt leadership” may not be perfect, but among most of the world's population, it is as good as it gets.

This discussion raises some important conceptual and theoretical issues for future consideration. Much remains to be done in refining our understanding of corrupt leadership” and dirty hands, to address the good that some leaders are able to achieve in difficult and corrupt circumstances. Effective corrupt leadership” certainly merits further study, as it is a key factor in the advancement of public welfare for millions of people in some of the most desperate parts of the world. As TI have observed, much of the world's population labors under corrupt political leadership that is ineffective, and thereby contributes to the seemingly endless cycle of destitution and misery. Some exceptional leaders, however, do make a difference. Of course, in some incidences the difference made may only be fleeting, and Hariri's leadership is arguably such as case, as his assassination precipitated a series of events that threw Lebanese society back into yet another phase of assassinations, recriminations and political chaos. The fact that a leader's positive achievements may subsequently be undermined by events, does not, however, invalidate their importance, or their significance. By reintroducing and refining the notions of corrupt leadership” and dirty hands, though the examination of such a real historical case, it is hoped that others will undertake similar historical case research on effective corrupt leaders such that comparisons may be drawn, and that this mode of leadership be better conceptualized, better appreciated and better understood.

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بواسطة : المدونون العرب

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