Iraqi society has suffered from loss or fragility of human security since 2003. The developmental policies, programs and plans of the successive Iraqi Governments throughout the transitional period have not been able to achieve human security, despite the availability of different resources. They have also not prevented or limited the spread of corruption, according to domestic and international reports. Now the country faces a large phenomenon of corruption and the dilemma of human security loss. This study aims to ascertain the nature of the relationship between the phenomenon of corruption and the dilemma of loss or fragility of human security in Iraq since 2003 to learn about the form of this relationship, how the selected variables contribute to the two phenomena and determine the degree of impact of corruption and its dimensions on human security and its components.
This research uses the social survey methodology of the sample taken from the Iraqi society and benefits from system analysis approach to identify the inputs and outputs of the variables researched. Moreover, the study uses the case study methodology to collect data and information precisely in an in-depth manner to support qualitative and quantitative analysis and clarifies the situation at the macro level of both phenomena.
Findings show the prevalence of corruption structurally in the Iraqi state and society. The contribution of dimensions and selected indicators in the spread of corruption and lack of human security varies. Findings also underline a strong statistical correlation between the two variables and their reverse relationship. In other words, the more the corruption is, the less the opportunities of human security are. There is also a strong impact of corruption and its dimensions on the conditions of human security factors.
The paper provides profitable findings and recommendations, which can be used by the Iraqi relevant institutions to eliminate corruption, achieve human security and benefit from its indicators in research and development.
The new addition of this research can be represented by linking the two phenomena and trying to build national standards with the capacity to describe, interpret and predict.
Hassan, A.M. (2020), "The impact of corruption on the human security of societies in transition (Iraq case study since 2003)", Review of Economics and Political Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/REPS-06-2019-0092Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2020, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan.
Published in Review of Economics and Political Science. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
Corruption is a very complex global phenomenon that varies in size and degree from one society to the other. People knew it since ancient times. Despite the diversity of its definition, there is no agreement among scholars on a specific definition. Corruption represents a huge problem for states in the transitional stages, such as Bosnia, Herzegovina, Kosovo, Cambodia, Liberia and Nigeria (Lindberg and Orjuela, 2014, p. 727). It grows in the countries undergoing transitional political, economic and social changes as in the Iraqi case after 2003. Corruption permeated the political and economic performance system and its behavior patterns and a network of complex and interdependent interests was established (Hatrami, 2014, p. 113).
In transitional stages, the capabilities of countries to achieve human security are diminished, which requires the availability of the conditions necessary to guarantee a decent and safe life for individuals. The Iraqi person is still facing security challenges in all its forms, the most important of them are poverty, fear and the lack of adequate protection for him, and the lack of empowerment in life to achieve his well-being and prosperity. This can be attributed to the fact that security with its dimensions stated in the Human Development Report in 1994 has not been achieved yet (UNDP, 1994, pp. 22-46).
The research aims to show the extent of the impact of corruption on human security in Iraq throughout the transitional period since 2003, as corruption practices lie in the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental variables, and these factors have an impact on human security in the Iraqi society.
Regarding the timeframe of the research, it extends throughout the transitional stage including the transitional justice period and the following political track adopted since 2003 up till now, because of the continuity of political and security instability, and the lagging development indicators because Iraq is still suffering from transitional chaos through the spread of corruption, absence of transparency and human security so as to practice real democracy. Many researchers have agreed on the difficulty of dealing with a theory concerning the transitional period as it is based on the historical eras that historians agree about in each school of thought. This stage is characterized by liquidity, instability, uncertainty and lack of security and confidence in what already exists (Bashara, 2014). However, Iraq is considered a relevant spatial framework for the study, in which the field survey comprised four governorates (Baghdad, Erbil, Basrah and Salahaddin).
The research starts from a problem that reflects the inability of successive Iraqi Governments to achieve their human security goals, such as developmental plans, programs, policies and strategies adapted throughout the transitional period since 2003. It did not improve its various elements, although Iraq has various productive resources. Iraq has called for applying political multiplicity associated with political track expressed by periodical local and parliamentary elections. This has resulted in forming governments that traded authority peacefully, but corruption has expanded widely in Iraq and constituted a challenge against any development track. Corruption has been established structurally within the state and community, and its mechanisms gained social recognition which is reflected in all human and economic circumstances in the country.
The main question is: What is the impact of corruption on achieving human security in Iraq throughout the transitional period since 2003?
The answer to this question requires a research method to find out variables that contribute to the spread of corruption and work to lose human security, as well as learning the size of their contribution, the nature and form of this relationship and the extent of corruption impact on human security. The research will attempt to test the following scientific assumptions:
First: There is a strong correlation between corruption and human security.
Second: Correlation between corruption and human security is reverse, i.e. the more the corruption, the less human security achieved.
Third: There is a significant impact of corruption on human security. Impacts of its dimensions vary. Political corruption is the most widespread and influential.
2. Importance of research
This research raises discussion about the corruption and human security through focusing on investigating the opinion of a sample of the employees in the public and private sectors. It seeks quantitative processing, using statistical methods and tools for interpreting and measuring them, as well as determining the degree of their spread and their mutual relationship, and knowing how the independent variable affects the dependent one. The main contribution of the researcher herein is to try to build national standards, through adopting dimensions and indicators that explain the reality of the two phenomena and take into account the privacy of the country.
3. Methodology of research
This study draws on the approach of the relationship between the state and the society, developed by Joel S. Migdal. It “addressed the shortcomings of development and modernization theories” (A’aref, 1995, p. 265). The state is a symbol and an embodiment of authority and it is the one that establishes the institutions and sets the rules and laws that organize the relations among people, and has the right of the legitimate use of force against the outlaws who threaten its safety. However, the community is the overall relations that individuals voluntarily get into. It is also a space for interaction in social, economic and cultural fields and is the main key to understanding reality (Hilal, 2007). Moreover, the individual is not in a situation that allows him/her to secure himself/herself except through a larger entity, i.e. the society and the state (Floyd, 2007, p. 40).
Migdal sees that all the theoretical frameworks failed to answer the question of “Why have some developing countries succeeded in mobilizing their resources and increasing their potential, while other countries have failed to do so?” (Migdal, 1988, pp. 14-15). He also noticed that researchers ignored analyzing the powers that resist and obstruct the rise of the state with a community leadership, and moving toward a higher level as their interest did not focus on noticing, analyzing and evaluation. Instead, it focused on achieving state effectiveness and success and providing recommendations more than providing a description for reality, which form a gap that was not analyzed in light of the nature of that relation (Migdal, 1988, pp. 10-11).
Migdal asks another question about how the state succeeded in appropriating social control within the society to dominate the behavior of its members. He answers these questions by stating that there are factors that prevent the emergence of a strong state, not the least thereof are the policies, left over by the Western colonialism in the countries, subjugated by its rule. This affected mobilization of resources. In addition, the control of society by the state does not mean its success in extracting resources only, but also its ability to allocate them for specific goals and regulation of the daily behavior of citizens (Migdal, 1988, pp. 261-262). The state can reshape the behavior of individuals in society by law, the bureaucratic apparatus and the use of violence; and the modern state has reshaped people’s behavior, and by extension, their sense of who they are (Migdal, 2001, pp. 7-8).
Later, Migdal realized that practicing the social discipline’s function is not the only criterion for the state power or weakness, but it depends on its ability to merge the various internal and external force elements. There are official and non-official groups and institutions that specify the behavior patterns. Moreover, there is a clear concept to distinguish between public and private interest. However, some of those in power use their authority in a way to achieve their own interests, which is considered a deviation in terms of the rules governing their jobs and the laws of the state (Hilal, 2007).
Thus, the relationship between the state and society is overlapped, and the idea of the origins between the state and social forces occurs in which a lot of conflict, collusion, opposition and corruption occur; the leaders have become the brokers for contracts, jobs, goods, services, force and authority that filter through the bureaucratic tentacles of the state. And there are dirty tricks by top-ranking state personnel such as imprisonment and deportation, strange disappearance, torture and the use of death squads. In short, a society fragmented in social control affects the character of the state, which, in turn, reinforces the fragmentation of the society (Migdal, 2001, pp. 80-93).
This research makes use of the theoretical approach of Migdal, as it is interested in describing the reality through observation, analysis and evaluation before providing any recommendations. This is the most developed approach and it is so appropriate for this study, as the researcher has benefited from its basic concepts for answering the research questions. Migdal’s theory builds on a model of dynamic interaction between the society and state, which explains to us the truth of what is going on in terms of corruption that produces the model of the “Failed State,” that is “the weak state - the weak society,” which is one of the patterns of the quadruple model Migdal has come up with. Moreover, this approach helps explain the contribution of these variables in the weakness of the state and society and their impact on controlling the behavior of those working in formal and informal institutions.
This research uses the social survey method through direct field investigation after determining selected variables with their dimensions and indicators. Further, the research may make good use of the system analysis approach to identify more inputs and outputs of the researched variables and system environment that took part in sapping the strength of governments and society.
The case study methodology was followed to collect and examine data and information in a precise and in-depth manner. The methodology supports quantitative and qualitative analyses of studied variables at the macro level to understand the two phenomena and reach theoretical generalizations, in addition to using statistical methods and tools.
This research addresses the relationship between corruption and human security by summarizing their theoretical framework and showing their reality in Iraq, practically, by addressing the field methodological procedures and analyzing the results of the qualitative and quantitative statistics of the sample with regard to the impact of corruption on human security, as stated in the following major points.
4. Corruption phenomenon in Iraq
Scholars agree that there is corruption in Iraq and it has become a phenomenon. To identify the concept, dimensions and extent of corruption there, we will highlight the phenomenon by addressing the concept, dimensions and reality of corruption in Iraq since 2003, as follows:
4.1 Concept and dimensions of corruption
Lisan al-Arab of Ibn Manzur defined the concept as the opposite of righteousness that is to turn away from uprightness to its contrary (Mohamed, 2013, p. 16). Corruption was known since ancient times. We see references to crimes and their penalties in Sumerian civilization laws (Kramer, 1975, pp. 105-112), in addition to the codes of Hammurabi (1780 BC) and the Pharaonic civilization. It was also mentioned by the three divine religions and was discussed by Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Montesquieu and Ibn Khaldun, (Mohamed, 2012, pp. 6-10). It is defined by Transparency International as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain” (Yahiya, 2017, p. 5). United Nations Development Program says it is “the misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit – through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement” (Ghosh and Siddique, 2015, p. 6). It is hard to learn about its real practices, because of its sensitivity, especially in post-conflict societies (Lindberg and Orjuela, 2014, p. 723). Therefore, the definitions of corruption vary according to different ideological perspectives (Salam, 2015, p. 60).
These definitions differ according to each country and even within the regions of the single country (Vian, 2008, p. 84), but they all agree that it takes place for one purpose, which is “the abuse of public or corporate office authority for private gain.” But it does not mean its non-proliferation in the private sector, as it may happen for the benefit of a party, clan or others (Tanzi, 1998, pp. 8-9). Many theories emerged to interpret it, including the functional, dependency, political modernization, looking for rent, cost–benefit analysis, search for profit, structural functionalism, conflict, game theory, etc. (Limam, 2011, p. 86; Huntington, 1993, pp. 77-92). Aspects of corruption vary according to its various reasons. Some classify it in accordance with the field of its rise: corruption of the public sector and the private sector; or according to its size: large and small corruption (Bhargava, 2005, pp. 1-2); or pursuant to service sectors: health, social, technical, media and sports corruption or accidental, institutional and organized (Hassan, 2007, p. 21).
Therefore, corruption can be defined procedurally as deviant behavior that seeks to achieve a private, material or any other kind of benefit at the expense of a public interest in ways that contradict the laws, administrative rules, religious teachings and the agreed-upon social values and norms. Moreover, corruption has its own dimensions interpreted by political, economic, financial, social, cultural, administrative and environmental factors, and its practice appears in basic and secondary indicators to measure it. The most important indicators in Iraq are the increasing violence, such as bombings, assassinations, terrorist attacks and the weak political participation in voting and decision-making. Also, these indicators include electoral fraud, voter bribery, the unjust electoral system and negative political behavior of political and social elites. This is all clear in the lack of commitment to the constitution and laws, the failure of the political elite to resolve crises and public voting on sectarian and national grounds, politicizing demonstrations, public violence and the weak role of civil society organizations, the partisan media ideology and the weak political culture of society. Furthermore, this also can be obviously seen in the deterioration of agriculture and industry, the waste of natural resources, the increasing unemployment and poverty, capital flight abroad, social injustice, the high rates of underdevelopment and illiteracy, lack of institution governance, transparency and accountability, weak supervision and institutions and neglecting to treat war remnants such as mines and weapons and their proliferation. These factors together with some other indicators are shown in Table I.
Thus, the researcher has adopted a classification of the dimensions of corruption according to the environment in which it arises, which includes its various dimensions (political, economic, financial, social, cultural, administrative and environmental) because corruption manifests itself in the paths of the relationship between the state and society, and merges with the development paths in it. All these dimensions are negatively affected by the decisions of those in power and the political elites. Hence, this approach suits Migdal’s theoretical approach, as the impact of corruption and its dimensions on human security can be clearly and accurately determined.
4.2 Reality of corruption in Iraq since 2003
Iraq suffered from corruption under the Ottoman rule, and continued after the British occupation forces had entered Iraq in 1918. Holding positions in Iraq, therefore, became a source of exploitation and illicit enrichment (Farag, 2015, p. 101). Some of its simple forms emerged after the formation of the modern state in 1921, and then continued in the decades that followed (Dawood, 2015, p. 107). This phenomenon was addressed in the Global Corruption Report in 2001, referring to its high levels during international sanctions period. A total of 100 senior Baath Party officials were dismissed for corruption and incompetence (Owaid, 2016, p. 191). On the other hand, Iraqis agree that corruption spread in the public and private sectors after 2003, emphasizing that political corruption has severely hampered the reconstruction of Iraq’s civil institutions that led to uncertainty about the sustainability of democracy (Dodge, 2013, p. 255), according to domestic and international measurement indicators. The data of the Commission of Integrity, a sample survey of the state employees, and Iraq Knowledge Network in 2011 indicate that corruption is a recurrent phenomenon and a major concern in the daily lives of Iraqis. Bribery is one of the most common forms of corruption in the dealings of the public and among the state employees (73.8 per cent), mostly including health, education, public facilities, taxes, customs and land registration sectors. It also indicates that the three authorities (government, parliament and the judiciary) were affected by corruption (MOP, 2015a, p. 3).
Iraq was classified by three indexes of Transparency International: Corruption Perception Index, Global Corruption Report and Global Corruption Scale (Owaid, 2016, p. 186). Iraq entered the Corruption Perception Index in 2003 until 2019; it has been ranked among the last 10 countries where corruption is most rampant, at the level of public sector internationally and does not exceed 113-178, and at the forefront of Arab countries its rank was limited between 16 and 19 (Transparency International, 2003/2019).
The Arab Index for 2015 confirmed prevalence of corruption in Iraq (Ne’ama, 2016). Despite establishing highly organized anti-corruption institutions, such as Federal Board of Supreme Audit, Commission of Integrity, general inspectors, judicial institutions, Integrity Committee at the Parliament and High Anti-Corruption Commission, there is weakness in eliminating and influencing corruption (MOP, 2015b, p. 7).
The government’s weak performance affects the spread of corruption. In this context, governance is defined as the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced. Governance also refers to the government’s ability to effectively formulate and implement sound policies, and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them. Its indicators are voice and accountability, political stability and absence of violence/terrorism, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption (Kaufmann et al., 2010, p. 3). Iraq, in terms of effectiveness of government, has scored weak degree of that in 2003 (−1.7) and in 2018 (−1.3), and since 2003 until 2018, the degree of government performance did not exceed −1.1. Further, Iraq showed weakness in the Corruption Control Index since 2003 until 2018, and the scale did not exceed the rank 11.37, as it obtained a score of −1.2 and rank 8.1 in 2003, and a score of −1.4 and was ranked 7.2 in 2018 from the scale score −2.5 to 2.5 and its rank of 100 degrees. Its negative score did not exceed −1.2 and it obtained it in 2011 (World Bank, 2019). The results confirm the government’s ineffectiveness in controlling corruption, which led to its spread.
5. Dilemma of human security in Iraq
The problem of research forces us to address the concept of human security and its components and reality in Iraq since 2003 and until now. Therefore, we will address these as follows:
5.1 Concept and components of human security
Security, as a conventional concept, started focusing more on the security of the state borders. It ignored any concerns of people about the security of their everyday life (Thakur, 2002, p. 274). Thomas Schelling defined it as “maintaining the freedom of the state and ensuring the effectiveness of values and key institutions therein” (Abu Zeid, 2012, p. 8). Security points to some degree of protection of the previously acquired values. In Walter Lippmann’s words, “a nation is secure to the extent to which it is not in danger of having to sacrifice core values.” What this definition implies is that security rises and falls with the ability of a nation to deter an attack or defeat (Wolfers, 1952, p. 484). The concept has evolved to comprise essential aspects of the society life; it has become of a global and holistic nature that seeks to protect and promote multiple aspects of human life.
In 1994, the Human Development Report on human security explicitly launched the concept of human security, to be based primarily on the idea of people’s adhering to the right to live, freely and integrally, a life free of poverty and despair. All individuals have the right to live without fear and poverty, while everyone shall equally have the right to develop their capabilities with the aim of improving the quality of their life and ensuring security through its seven components: political security: enjoying political and civil rights and the freedom of political expression; societal security: ensuring the survival of customs, traditions and ethnic groups and providing them with material security; personal security: physical protection of population against torture, war, crime, abuse, domestic violence, etc.; economic security: freedom from poverty; food security: every human should have access to enough food at any time; health security: access to health care and disease prevention; and environmental security: protection against pollution and other environmental hazards (UNDP, 1994, pp. 22-32).
The concept is currently evolving to comprise essential aspects of the society life. It has become of a global and holistic nature that seeks to protect and promote multiple aspects of human life, focuses on man as a basic reference to security and makes state security as a means for its protection, particularly because globalization has caused the proliferation of complex and intertwined new security risks, which are mostly related to man. These risks included a range of economic, social, political, environmental and health rights whose direct or indirect harmful effect on human life is clear (Stares, 2000, p. 151).
In 2003, it was made clear in the report of the Human Security Committee that human security complements state security and is concerned with protecting people from threats and works to empower them, as it cares about the individual and society. It is a precondition for achieving it. Moreover, human security brings these human elements together, complements the security of the state, promotes human rights and strengthens human development (Commission on Human Security, 2003, pp. 2-4). This introduce a new security model, suited to the nature of these challenges, chiefly including terrorism, diseases, poverty, drugs and environmental prolusion (Kermani, 2006, p. 25).
Members of the United Nations General Assembly have agreed on the need for a new culture focused on visions and security items, which are operating according to a comprehensive, multi-dimensional concept and each depends on ensuring the other, and centered around the human being (UN Secretary-General, 2012, pp. 1-15). Thus, the concept is related to human development, human rights and national security, but it does not match any of them (Sen, 2013, p. 18).
Therefore, human security can be defined procedurally as a concept that includes everything that improves the quality of life of individuals and society in various political, economic, nutritional, social, health and environmental dimensions. The state protects and empowers individuals, secures their basic needs and does not exercise any kind of oppression against them. These security dimensions include several indicators for measuring its failure to be achieved in the Iraqi case that include election fraud and lack of electoral representation, the use of violence against individuals, poor participation, failure to follow the principles of democratic governance, limiting freedom of expression and demonstration, absence of standards of human rights in combating terrorism and the spread of poverty. These indicators also include neglecting economic reform, lack of attention to the sectors that affect human food, lack of civil peace, drug proliferation, neglect of education, the spread of diseases and epidemics, insufficient health and medical care, weapons proliferation, violations and violence against women and not guaranteeing their political and economic rights. These and other indicators are shown in Table II.
5.2 Reality of human security in Iraq since 2003
Iraq has witnessed a retreat in human security throughout the past three decades, whereas the society has suffered from deprivation because of wars and the economic blockade imposed against Iraq before 2003 (MOP, 2015b, p. 10). This retreat continued after the American occupation in 2003. The Iraqi citizen has witnessed a decline in his/her political security for many reasons, the most important of which are violence and terrorism that caused assassinations, kidnapping, harming and expulsion of population. Many figures were assassinated from April 9, 2003 to June 8, 2008. There were 434,962 victims. The number of victims of terrorist operations in the period from 2006 to 2009 was 162,582 (Alber, 2012, p. 14). The mass exodus because of the conflict has had a serious negative impact on both personal and societal security. Dramatic escalation of violence in the governorates, controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) gangs, led to a significant increase in the number of displaced people, to be 3,206,736 in 2015 (Mustafa and Gabr, 2017, pp. 72, 166). The number of returnees was 2,397,820 out of 5,747,424, i.e. 42 per cent (General Secretariat of Iraqi Council of Ministers, 2018, pp. 6-7). Gender security has suffered from weakness that reflects distinct discrimination against women and consequently their developmental disability (General Secretariat of Iraqi Council of Ministers, 2014, p. 13). The number of displaced families whose females were abused was 2,269 (MOP, 2015a, p. 38). About two million housing units up to 2020 are needed. Two and a half million housing units have been randomly constructed (Supreme Population Council, 2014, p. 17). Infrastructure of the educational system, including the buildings and equipment, has been destroyed and looted, while its problems exacerbated to the extent of being included into the worst educational systems in the region (Salih, 2018, p. 78). There is also a large deficit in the number of school buildings with low enrollment rates. The horizontal expansion in universities contributes to quantitative development at the expense of qualitative enhancement; in addition to the division between educational outputs and the labor market needs (MOP, 2010, p. 23). Illiteracy rates remain high among the Iraqi population (Mustafa, 2016, p. 31). The proportion of illiterates is 11.4 per cent, people who can read and write only are 20.8 per cent and people with primary education are 34.5 per cent (MOP, 2018a, p. 21). There is a remarkable rise in the spread of drugs in the southern governorates (Mustafa, 2017, p. 4). Such data indicate fragility of economic security, as the total value of damaged infrastructure of the state institutions from 2004 to June 30, 2018 amounted to IQD 89,275,973,312,754 (MOP, 2018b, p. 4). Today, many negative phenomena, such as poverty and unemployment are spreading. The poverty rate in Iraq reached more than 20.4 per cent. This indicates that the poor are more than seven million (MOP, 2018a, p. 21). The unemployment rate became 12 per cent, with youth unemployment reaching 34 per cent, while the number of government sector employees increased to 3.02 million, and prevalence of undernourishment amounted to 2.5 per cent of families. Also the prevalence of malnutrition and the rate of arrest in development increased (MOP, 2017, p. 18), and this contributed to the fragility of economic security, in addition to the fragility of food security. The health security deteriorated, while maternal and infant mortality increased. The health system is suffering from a huge burden, with hundreds of thousands of disabled people and spread of cancerous diseases and congenital malformations because of environmental pollution by radiation, in addition to mental illnesses and high rates of chronic and active diseases (Mustafa, 2016, p. 33). There is pollution in water, air and soil because of the use of prohibited weapons in war such as depleted uranium as well as the proliferation of weapons. According to the criterion of environmental performance efficiency, Iraq was ranked 116th among 180 countries (MOP, 2018c, p. 6). All these weak indications have shown the loss of human security on one occasion, and its fragility on another with all its dimensions.
6. Field methodological procedures
We address the research methodology in field by addressing the community and sample of research, and the reliability and validity of the tool used, as follows:
6.1 Community and sample of research
A stratified random sample consisting of public and private sectors employees was identified for the research community because of “non- homogeneity” in the Iraqi case, who have sufficient awareness. The educational level was decided at a secondary school certificate at least. The minimum age was 25 years old. The sample size was 600 individuals in 4 governorates (Baghdad, Basrah, Salahaddin and Erbil) with 150 persons per governorate and an error rate of 4 per cent. Demographic characteristics of the sample were identified. The statistical data explained their qualitative, age, education and work dimensions, and were classified according to the response by 418 males (69.7 per cent) and 182 females (30.3 per cent), considering the size of women participation in the public and private sectors. Demographic data show that the first age group (males and females), 25-30 years, represented 18.7 per cent of the total community; the second group (32-35 years) represented 27 per cent; the third group (36-40 years) represented 32.2 per cent; and the fourth group (40 years and above) represented 22 per cent of the total community. The data indicate that the educational level of respondents was high. The males and females with secondary education were (7.3 per cent), and those with a Bachelor’s degree “University Education” (41.8 per cent) of them, who obtained a diploma (10 per cent), and high diploma were (8.7 per cent), and those who obtained a master’s degree were (19.2 per cent), while the number of PhD holders reached (13 per cent) of the respondents. The number of respondent working in the public sector reached 482 (80.3 per cent) and those working in the private sector were 118 (19.7 per cent).
6.2 Reliability and validity of the tool used
Reliability and validity of the tool used to achieve the research objective were measured by the following three stages. The first of these was virtual reliability, using expert judgment and views, regarding the statements and questions in data collection tool, by studying, evaluating and measuring it. The form was presented initially to 11 sociology professors at Baghdad and Nahrain universities. Expert consensus regarding the form was 95.45 per cent. The experimental test was conducted for a sample of the community members at the number of 30. Reliability of the questionnaire was calculated by confirming that the scale includes elements and basic contents of the targeted phenomenon. Reliability factor was 98 per cent for all the indicators of both variables (111), at 98 per cent for independent variable (corruption) for all its 82 indicators, while the dependent variable (human security) reached 97 per cent for all its 29 indicators. Using Cronbach’s alpha scale, cohesion and accuracy of the results were calculated. Validity of the questionnaire for all corruption indicators was 97 per cent, while that of human security was 95 per cent. Therefore, the value of stability and reliability is very high and the scale is consistent internally. The results can be relied upon, in addition to the statistical methods and tools, used to handle and analyze data, including SPSS V. 22 for Windows and Pearson correlation coefficient (Basheer, 2003, pp. 1-249) to measure the relationship between the variables selected for the research.
7. Impact of corruption on human security in Iraq since 2003
To get to know the impact of corruption on human security, this requires identifying the size of the contribution of the factors explaining them, and determining the degree of the relationship between the variables and their strength and thus measuring the impact between them. Hence, we will address the descriptive and quantitative field statistics of the sample researched as follows:
7.1 Contribution of factors that explain the spread of corruption in Iraq
There are political, economic, social, cultural and environmental factors that explain the corruption phenomenon, and the results of the questionnaire of the researched sample individuals accurately explain the extent to which those chosen variables have contributed to its prevalence. The sample individuals were given specific statements to answer them with five options in the questionnaire (completely agree, agree, neutral, disagree and totally disagree) and we will summarize the arithmetic averages and their relative importance as follows:
Political corruption: The individuals agreed on the extent of its contribution to the spread of the phenomenon of corruption in Iraq by 83.7 per cent with an arithmetic average of 1.732, and all its various indicators (six indicators of political participation, eight indicators of political behavior and three indicators of political violence). This dimension was ranked fourth in terms of its contribution to the spread of corruption in Iraq.
Economic and financial corruption: The sample individuals agreed on the size of its contribution to the spread of corruption by 86.7 per cent with an average of 1.714 through its various indicators (two indicators of unemployment and poverty, four indicators of waste of natural resources, two indicators of capital migration abroad, two indicators of weak investment environment, three indicators of deterioration of the agriculture and industry and four indicators of the decrease of private sector contribution). It was ranked third.
Social and cultural corruption: The individuals agreed on the extent of its contribution to the prevalence of the phenomenon by 83.5 per cent with an average of 1.780. Its indicators included three indicators on the marginalization of the middle class, three indicators of social justice, five indicators of the weakness of the system of social and cultural values and the role of globalization in it, three indicators of the gender gap, two indicators of political culture of society and two indicators on illiteracy. It was ranked the fifth.
Administrative corruption: The individuals agreed on the extent of its contribution to the prevalence of the phenomenon by 88 per cent with an average of 1.684 for all its indicators which included four indicators on administrative organization and administrative decentralization, four indicators on weak institutions, four indicators on transparency and accountability and three indicators on control weakness. It was ranked first in terms of its contribution to the spread of corruption in Iraq.
Environmental corruption: The individuals agreed on the extent of its contribution to the spread of the phenomenon by 86.7 per cent with an average of 1.694 for all its indicators which included nine indicators related to the weakness of water resources management and environmental pollution, four indicators on the management of sewage services and drinking water and two indicators on neglecting the treatment of war remnants of mines and weapons. Environmental corruption was ranked the second. Table I shows these results.
These findings show the variation in the contribution of main and sub-dimensions and indicators as corrupted practices from different variables in the spread of corruption in Iraq at high levels, whereas administrative corruption is ranked 1st, environmental corruption is ranked 2nd, economic and financial corruption is ranked 3rd, political corruption is ranked 4th and social and cultural corruption is ranked 5th. The variation of these variables contribution expresses the researched sample awareness of these practices through their everyday life.
7.2 Contribution of explanatory factors of lack of human security in Iraq
The various elements of human security contribute in explaining why it has not been achieved in Iraq throughout the transition stage, in which the questionnaire results explained the contribution of the selected dimensions and indicators of these elements, as follows:
Political security: It includes seven key indicators of electoral fraud, lack of electoral representation, ineffective decision-making, failure to follow the governance principles, use of government violence against individuals, failure to follow human rights standards in the fight against terrorism, restriction of expression and demonstrating freedom. Respondents agreed at 86.9 per cent on their contribution to the lack of human security. Total arithmetic mean for political security reached 1.684, and ranked fourth, in terms of its contribution to the human security dilemma in Iraq.
Economic and food security: Including four indicators (poverty and unemployment spread, lack of or weak domestic and foreign investment in vital sectors, neglect of economic structure reform and inattention to economic sectors affecting human food), respondents agreed at 90.9 per cent on its contribution to the human security dilemma, with an arithmetic mean of 1.602, and it is ranked second.
Personal and societal security: It includes nine indicators: lack of civil peace, failure to face violence, threats and torture, domestic violence, lack of control of drugs spread, migration and displacement, deactivated role of security institutions, lack of interest in cultural diversity, lack of social justice, inattention to education and problem of slums. Respondents agreed at 89.2 per cent on its contribution to the human security dilemma, with an arithmetic mean of 1.646, and it is ranked third.
Health and environmental security: It includes five indicators: proliferation of diseases and epidemics, lack of health and medical care, lack of access to sanitation and potable water services, lack of interest in water resources, spread of light and medium weapons and non-removal of mines. Respondents agreed at 91.1 per cent on its contribution to the human security dilemma, with an arithmetic mean of 1.589, and it is ranked first.
Gender gap: It includes four indicators: gender inequality, violence against women, lack of political rights for women and non-prevention of violations against girls. Respondents agreed at 83.6 per cent on its contribution to the human security dilemma, with an arithmetic mean of 1.838, and it is ranked fifth. Table II shows these results.
These findings show the variation in the extent of human security elements contribution in the failure to achieve it. The health and environmental dimension occupies the 1st rank, the economic and food security is ranked 2nd. The personal and social security is ranked 3rd, political security is ranked 4th and the gender gap is ranked 5th. It seems that the variables selected for the questionnaire and the timing of the survey in certain circumstances gave the priority of one dimension on another in terms of the degree of contribution according to the respondents affected by these elements.
7.3 The relationship between the researched variables
The research hypotheses have been tested through correlation coefficients to identify the relationship between these variables, where all the dimensions and indicators indicating them (13 dimensions and 111 indicators) were reduced to 5 dimensions and 82 indicators of the dimensions of corruption, and 8 dimensions and 29 indicators of human security. This statistical method was used to explain the relationship between the two variables and determine their explanatory ability and direction, and the degree and the strength of the correlation between them. The results showed that the explanatory capacity between the two variables reached 77 per cent, which means that the percentage of variables that can occur in human security is because of corruption in its various dimensions, while the remaining 33 per cent is because of random variables not addressed by the researcher. It has not been tested in this model.
The degree of correlation between the two variables was 0.876a, taking into account the fact that the correlation coefficient values are confined to (−1 < r < 1), approaching that value to +1, which explains the strength of the relationship between the two variables. This means that the high rates of corruption will increase the probability of not achieving human security, as the value of this correlation coefficient shows that the correlation between the high rates of corruption and the lack of human security is inverse relationship between the prevalence of corruption and the achievement of human security, that is, the greater the corruption is, the less human security is achieved, as shown in Table III.
Figure 1 shows the direction of progressive relationship between corruption dimensions “political corruption, economic and financial corruption, social and cultural corruption, administrative corruption, environmental corruption” on one hand, and the lack of human security, on the other.
To determine the value of the impact of corruption on human security, the significance of the estimated model was selected according to the F-test (Al-Qurashi, 2007, p. 257). The results showed that there was a significant impact of corruption on human security with the value of 393.765, and a level of moral value 0.000b, less than 0.05. Thus, it accepts the alternative hypothesis, which assumes the significance of the estimated model of human security, assuming that there was an impact between corruption and human security. Table IV illustrates this:
To determine the value of the impact of each dimension of corruption on human security, T-test was selected to test the significance of the estimated parameters of the model and each parameter separately (Al-Qurashi, 2007, p. 255).
The findings showed the impact of corruption on human security in Iraq. The impact of political corruption on human security in Iraq at T-value reached 1.987, more than 1.645, at a significance level of 0.047 or less than 0.05. This explains the impact of political corruption on human security, which was ranked fifth. The impact of economic and financial corruption came at 2.603, at a significance level of 0.009. This shows its impact on human security, which was ranked fourth. The impact of social and cultural corruption at T was 3.718, at a significance level of 0.000. This shows its strong impact on human security, which was ranked third. As for the impact of administrative corruption at T, it amounted to 7.660, at a significance level of 0.000. This shows the strong impact of administrative corruption to rank second. The impact of environmental corruption at T was 10.264, at a significance level of 0.000 that shows the strong impact of environmental corruption on human security in Iraq, which was ranked first. This means that the more the corruption, the more likely that no humanitarian security will be realized at a certain degree, with the constancy of other factors that stand for the corruption dimensions. Table V shows the T-test.
This test shows that the dimensions of corruption have differently affected human security, whereas the impact of environmental corruption came 1st and administrative corruption came 2nd, social and cultural corruption came 3rd, economic and financial corruption came 4th, and finally the impact of political corruption came 5th. By analyzing the results of the two tests (T and F), corruption has greatly affected human security. It has affected political security and weakened political participation. Considering the reason behind electoral fraud and lack of electoral representation for political components, some individuals use violence as means to meet demands, and human rights in terms of freedom of expression and demonstration were violated. This has weakened the political and judicial institutions and citizenship, caused loss of the parties’ credibility, undermined society’s confidence in the state and its legitimacy. It has also affected the economic and financial security, and led to the spread of poverty and the weakness of domestic and foreign investment, and economic reform was neglected. No attention has been paid to its sectors affecting human food and that caused financial pressures and reduced services. It has also affected personal and community security through its impact on civil peace and imbalance and not facing violence and domestic violence, torture and various threats. This has led to poor management of components, and no social justice has been achieved. Education and housing were neglected, which gave rise to migration, displacement and drug prevalence, reducing the rule of law and creating a culture in which government officials escape accountability for their actions. It has also affected health and environmental security, and was a cause of the spread of diseases and epidemics, lack of sanitation services and drinking water, lack of health and medical care, lack of attention to water resources and achieving water security, the spread of light and medium weapons in the streets that is considered a reason not to remove mines from conflict areas. Corruption has also affected gender security through gender inequality and the use of violence against women that causes many violations against them, and, therefore, their political rights were not preserved. The selected indicators could explain these results, such as environmental corruption related to the neglect of treating the remnants of war from mines and weapons and their spread in the streets without treatment, and being in the hand of terrorists and armed groups. The resulting violence and the threats made to citizens, the poor management of water resources and environmental pollution and the poor management of sanitation and potable water may help explain these results as well. Moreover, the survey was conducted after the liberation of the cities from the control of ISIS, and the great damage it has inflicted on the facilities, infrastructure and the destruction of the role of citizens’ housing and burning of crops, which have all given a higher relative value outweighing the environmental corruption is shown to be the most impactful among corruption dimensions on human security in Iraq since 2003.
8. Research conclusion
The research concludes with the following findings and recommendations:
Corruption spreads structurally in the Iraqi state and society. This is supported by many reports of international organizations and research studies on corruption follow-up. Reality also confirms the dilemma of loss or fragility of human security throughout the transitional phase since 2003 and until now.
Findings of the survey showed the variation in the contribution of the dimensions of corruption in the spread of corruption in Iraq. Administrative corruption was one of the dimensions that have highly contributed to corruption. The findings did not prove the hypothesis that political corruption is the most critical dimension in the spread of corruption, even if it was at a high degree but less than the rest of some dimensions.
Contribution of dimensions and indicators of non-realization of human security in Iraq since 2003 varies. Health and environmental security was the most critical dimension among the rest of the dimensions that came first.
There is a statistical correlation between corruption and human security in Iraq. Its explanatory power is 77 per cent at the value of 0.876a. This proves the study hypothesis regarding a strong correlation between corruption and human security, and that the relationship between corruption and human security in Iraq is inverse relationship: the more the corruption, the less the humanitarian security realized.
There is a very strong impact of corruption on human security in Iraq, at F-value of 393.765 at a significance level of 000b. Thus, the hypothesis that there is a strong impact of corruption on the dimensions of human security in Iraq throughout the transitional phase since 2003 is validated.
The findings stress the hypothesis that the impacts of corruption dimensions on human security differ from one dimension to the other. They also refute the hypothesis that political corruption is the most influential dimension of corruption in human security, despite its high impact. Environmental corruption is shown to be the most impactful among corruption dimensions on human security in Iraq, while political corruption is ranked last. The research distinguishes between the degree of contribution and the degree of influence of the variables.
The results of the research confirmed that corruption and its dimensions have affected human security in all its elements and led to the weakening or failure to achieve them. This impact was negatively reflected in the performance of successive Iraqi Governments that failed to apply strategies, policies, plans and programs to achieve human security since 2003 and until now, as it was found that corruption’s existence is not related to the transitional stage, but its increasingly widespread and influence during it. This led to weak state and society.
The results showed the need to determine precisely the cause of variety in the contribution and impact of the various variables, and discuss the other variables that contribute to them, as well as determine the stages of the relationship between them at the highest and lowest level throughout the transitional stage, which was not addressed in this research. In addition, the researcher recommends conducting more field studies using quantitative methods to address these impacts to build national standards that can be adopted.
The research recommends applying effective governance mechanisms in all public and private sector institutions, taking participatory governance with society in the state administration to achieve democracy and using variables, factors and indicators of this research in the procedures of its apparatus concerned with fighting corruption and achieving human security. Researchers should pay attention to governance as a means for future studies in the Iraqi case.
Questionnaires findings on corruption and its dimensions in Iraq
|Variable||Dimensions||Indicators||Relative importance (%)||Average||SD||Rank|
|Corruption||Political corruption||Political violence||86.2||1.660||0.717||1|
|Weak political participation||85.8||1.682||0.656||2|
|Negative political behavior (elite and masses)||79||1.853||0.667||3|
|Economic and financial corruption||Deterioration of agriculture and industry||90.6||1.603||0.727||1|
|Wasting natural resources||90.4||1.639||0.678||2|
|Unemployment and standard of living||88||1.656||0.824||3|
|Weak investment environment||85.1||1.750||0.715||5|
|Decreased percentage of private sector participation||79.9||1.863||0.746||6|
|Economic and financial corruption||86.7||1.714||0.576||3rd|
|Social and cultural corruption||Lack or weakness of social justice||88.7||1.653||0.654||1|
|Marginalization of middle class||86.3||1.691||0.676||2|
|Underdevelopment and illiteracy||86||1.743||0.781||3|
|Weak system of social and cultural values and role of globalization||83||1.744||0.646||4|
|Political culture of society||82.8||1.815||0.731||5|
|Social and cultural corruption||83.5||1.780||0.583||5th|
|Administrative corruption||Weak transparency and accountability||91||1.616||0.635||1|
|Weak governance institutions||87.8||1.683||0.650||3|
|Weak administrative organization – administrative decentralization||84.9||1.785||0.831||4|
|Environmental corruption||Weak management of sewage and quality of drinkable water||89.2||1.644||0.645||1|
|Weak management of water resources and environmental pollution||87.8||1.666||0.625||2|
|Neglected treatment of war waste, including mines and weapons||83.2||1.773||0.748||3|
Questionnaire findings on lack of human security in Iraq
|Variable||Dimensions||Indicators||No. of questionnaire||Support (%)||Arithmetic mean||SD||Rank|
|Human security||Political security||Electoral fraud||600||95||1.382||0.693||1|
|Lack of electoral representation of most voters||600||91.2||1.550||0.761||2|
|Use of violence against individuals||600||88.3||1.648||0.804||3|
|Ineffective participation in decision-making||600||87.6||1.698||0.793||4|
|Non-adoption of governance principles||600||86.1||1.717||0.815||5|
|Restriction of expression and demonstrating freedom||600||85.3||1.770||0.880||6|
|Non-adoption of human rights principles in the fight against terrorism||600||74.6||2.022||1.183||7|
|Economic and food security||Spread of poverty||600||92.8||1.455||0.748||1|
|Neglected reform of economic structure||600||90.8||1.607||0.775||2|
|Inattention to economic sectors that affect human food||600||90.5||1.645||0.748||3|
|Lack of or weak domestic and foreign investment in vital sectors||600||89.5||1.650||0.715||4|
|Economic and food security||600||90.9||1.602||0.608||2nd|
|Personal and societal security||Lack of civil peace and non-confrontation of violence, threats and torture||600||93.2||1.523||1.137||1|
|Lack of control of drugs spread||600||92.5||1.547||0.710||2|
|Inattention to education||600||91.8||1.560||0.736||3|
|Lack of social justice||600||91.3||1.615||0.729||4|
|Deactivated role of security institutions||600||88.3||1.705||0.810||6|
|Migration and displacement||600||86.2||1.725||0.792||7|
|Lack of interest in cultural diversity||600||85.5||1.725||0.808||8|
|Problem of slums||600||84.6||1.780||0.902||9|
|Personal and societal security||600||89.2||1.646||0.603||3rd|
|Health and environment security||Proliferation of diseases and epidemics||600||93.2||1.547||1.124||1|
|Lack of health and medical care||600||92.7||1.553||0.710||2|
|Lack of access to sanitation and potable water services||600||92.5||1.562||0.720||3|
|Lack of interest in water resources||600||92||1.620||0.757||4|
|Spread of light and medium weapons and non-removal of mines||600||85.1||1.730||0.877||5|
|Health and environment security||600||91.1||1.589||0.660||1st|
|Gender gap||Violence against women||600||88.9||1.765||0.780||1|
|Non-prevention of violations against girls||600||87.5||1.777||0.819||2|
|Lack of political rights for women||600||80.8||1.900||0.880||3|
Correlation coefficient between corruption and human security in Iraq
|Model||R||R2||Adjusted R2||Standard error the estimate|
aThat is, the level of statistical significance, or the level of significance or the size of the test, which means that the probability of the error percentage in the hypothesis test reaches (0.05 per cent), that is, there are 5 opportunities out of every 100 samples of the same size through which the null hypothesis is rejected while it is correct
The impact of corruption on human security in Iraq according to F-test
|Model||Sum squares||Degree of freedom||Mean squares||F||Sig|
bConfidence level, meaning confidence in the results or estimates in the hypothesis test by (b = 1 − a), and its value reaches (0.95 per cent)
Impact significance on human security, according to T-test in Iraq
|Standardized coefficients||Collinearity statistics|
|Economic and financial corruption||0.101||0.039||0.104||2.603||0.009||0.245||4.079|
|Social and cultural corruption||0.149||0.040||0.156||3.718||0.000||0.222||4.497|
The following equation was relied on in determining the sample size:
Z = level value 1.96 , p = probability 0.50, E = error value 0.04 for the sample size 600.
The arithmetic averages were calculated by dividing the number of responses of individuals multiplied by the code number, i.e. multiplied by one for a fully agreed answer, multiplied by 2 for an agreed, 3 for a neutral, 4 for a non-agreed and multiplied by 5 for a not fully agreed, divided by the number of sample individuals.
The correlation coefficient is calculated by the following equation: . Whereas rs is coefficient of correlation between (x and y); n = the mean of the variable x; d = the mean of the variable y; and the hypothesis tested using correlation coefficients is h1 : rs ≠ 0. This means that the correlation between the variable x and the variable y is not equal to zero, in other words, there is a correlation.
The F-test is used to test the significance of the linear regression model by extracting its value called “critical value of the F distribution,” by the following equation: , when this value is more than 2.6 and the level of significance is less than 0.05, there is a significant effect of the estimated overall model on the dependent variable. The higher the value of F, the greater the ability of the model to influence the dependent variable.
The null hypothesis is that there is no significant effect of removing corruption on political security: H0 : B1 = B2 = … = Bk = 0. The alternative hypothesis developed (there is a significant effect to the dimensions of corruption on political security): H1:B1≠B2≠ … … …Bk≠0. In determining the acceptance or rejection of the null hypothesis, it depends on the value of the level of significance (when the value of the level of significance is less or equal to 0.05, we reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis which shows a significant effect of the model or estimated parameters). T-test is selected to test the significance of the multiple regression model parameters (for each dimension of the variable) by applying the following equation: inline-graphic xlink:href="REPS-06-2019-009204.tif"/>, (βj = model parameters, SEj = Standard error), to extract the value of t, called the “critical value of the distribution of (t),” showing the significant effect of the model parameter. When this value is greater than the value of 1.645, which is determined by confidence 95 per cent against a significant level of less than 0.05, there is a significant effect of the model parameter, and this indicates the strength of the level of the parameter effect on the model, and this effect may be positive or negative depending on the parameter reference.
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