The political economy of grand corruption in Tanzania

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Abstract

This article examines the political economy of grand corruption in Tanzania in the era of rapid growth and global integration. Grand corruption in Tanzania is linked to intra-elite conflicts within the ruling CCM party. However, the underlying dynamics of these struggles and how such elite politics interacts with the wider process of socio-economic transformation unfolding in Tanzania are not well understood. This article draws on the political settlements approach in building an analytical framework to examine four major grand corruption scandals that occurred within public finance from 2000 until 2014. In particular, it sets out the key actors and patterns in the factional struggles over corruption in order to demonstrate how the elite within the ruling CCM party is not centralized but composed instead of internal factions that have equal weight. The article explains how the enduring control of this elite, despite its internal divisions, can be explained by examining the balance of power in society beyond the institutions of the ruling party or the state itself. The article then establishes the mechanisms through which grand corruption shapes paths of accumulation within the domestic economy in Tanzania. In concluding, it argues that the fragmented distribution of power within the ruling party means that policy responses of the donor community, in particular the halting of aid disbursements, have been ineffective and are likely to continue to be ineffective in stopping grand corruption in Tanzania.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-403
Number of pages22
JournalAfrican Affairs
Volume114
Issue number456
Early online date4 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2015

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