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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2022

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

This paper investigates the factors responsible for the emergence of different arrangements of state–society relations. Being concerned with the relations related to the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the factors responsible for the emergence of different arrangements of state–society relations. Being concerned with the relations related to the industrial sector, this study focuses more on state–business–labor relations (SBLRs), especially on power dynamics between the main actors in these relations, namely, the state, tycoons, entrepreneurs and labor.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on power dynamics, four SBLR modes are identified and differentiated according to state power vis-à-vis non-state actors and tycoon power vis-à-vis the other non-state actors. The balanced mode is characterized by balanced power relations among the four considered actors. In the capture mode, tycoons are more powerful than other actors, including the state, although other nonsocial actors have organizational rights. The crony mode has powerful state, subservient tycoons who enjoy high levels of favoritism and low organizational power for the other social actors. Finally, the state-dominance mode has powerful state, low levels of favoritism to tycoons and low organizational power for all social actors. The paper then explores the factors responsible for the emergence of each of these modes by investigating the factors’ effects on state power and favoritism to tycoons. The investigated factors include historical political–economic, geographical, legal and cultural factors. The hypothesized effects of these factors are then tested using a random-effects probit regression model, investigating how the different factors affect the probability of the existence of the studied SBLR modes.

Findings

The results support much of the hypothesized relations and place more emphasis on some of the investigated factors. Earlier development is clearly responsible for the emergence of either the balanced or the state-capture SBLR mode. Geographical conditions favorable for development, such as latitude and metal richness, also lead to the emergence of either mode. The communist heritage, and more accurately the post-communist economic and incomplete political liberalism of the transition stage, contributed to the emergence of the state-capture SBLR mode. The British legal system, with the power it provides to non-state actors through the independence of judges and other measures, contributes to the emergence of the balanced SBLR mode. Cultural factors are largely responsible for the emergence of the crony SBLR mode, especially hierarchical and collectivist cultures, as well as ethnic fractionalization. On the other hand, the culture of Confucians has the strongest influence on the emergence of state dominance, while other cultures play a marginal role in its rise, and ethnic fractionalization marginally defuses the ability of the state to dominate without resorting to favoritism. Finally, access to rich natural resources, by enriching the state independently from social actors’ financial resources (e.g. taxation), marginally increases the probability of the emergence of the state-dominance mode.

Research limitations/implications

There is room for path dependency to explain the emergence of different SBLR modes in many countries. Unfortunately, the introduced regression model and any quantitative empirical work would not be able to effectively investigate such a process. Instead, an approach depending on case studies and a deeper investigation of country-specific historical political development is needed to complement the research done here. Conducting such an additional quest would help in reaching a more comprehensive understanding of why different countries have different SBLR modes. This should ultimately help in answering an equally important question: How to reverse engineer the emergence of favorable SBLR modes?

Practical implications

Although this paper did not investigate the economic merits or mischiefs of each of the studied modes, it is plausible to think of the balanced SBLR as the best mode. This is supported not only by the fact that most of the countries of this mode are developed countries but also by the attractiveness of the power dynamics governing this mode—a more balanced power among different SBLR actors. While some factors are almost impossible to replicate, for example, geographical factors, reform could target the factors that could be changed or mitigated. This is true for legal reform, especially for fostering the independence of judges. Culture is often regarded as a sticky institution. However, this is not always true, even though the change happens in the long run. A sort of dynamism should always be considered when referring to culture through time and space. Institutional reform could be instrumental in the long run in this regard. Conducting such reform with the help of such “exogenous” institutions should always consider the match between these institutions and “endogenous” institutions, such as culture. That is to say, the connection between democratization, fostering accountability and curbing favoritism and cultural values leaning toward these principles should be firmly established. Finally, a point of optimism is that—based on the results of this paper—reaching a high state of development could increase the chances of realizing a more balanced SBLR mode in the long run.

Originality/value

This paper represents a novel contribution to a topic that has hardly been addressed in the literature. The methodology that is used identifies different state–society relation modes and focuses on power relations in SBLRs is another important contribution to the present literature in many fields, such as institutional economics, socioeconomics and political economy.

Details

Fulbright Review of Economics and Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2635-0173

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether formal State Business Relations (F-SBR) lead to economic growth and which institutional variables are responsible for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether formal State Business Relations (F-SBR) lead to economic growth and which institutional variables are responsible for their success in achieving this.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a theoretical analysis, several hypotheses are presented, and a number of different regression models are being used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The paper finds that F-SBR with high government representation and business participation are likely to increase investment flows as well as help overcome some burdensome institutional settings. This could be done thanks to building trust, enhancing information exchange and better policy formulation. Despite of its suggested trust-building capacity, F-SBR seem to fail to function in cultures where trust in governments is low, since trust is a key issue for cooperation as that expected in F-SBR. On the other hand, collective but also non-hierarchical cultures that foster cooperation seem to help in the success of F-SBR. Accountability to the public and openness to various societal groups as well as good regulatory quality would help F-SBR in leading to better economic outcomes.

Practical implications

This paper, thus, suggests supporting the establishment of F-SBR with high official representation and business participation because of their positive economic value. It also suggests that voice and accountability and regulatory quality are important institutions for the realization of better economic outcomes from F-SBR.

Originality/value

The theoretical and empirical approaches used in this paper are what make it a novel endeavor in this field. Much of the suggested hypotheses were hardly discussed thoroughly elsewhere in the literature on F-SBR. Moreover, the proxy used for F-SBR, constructed by the interaction term of government official representation and the level of business representation, made it possible to conduct empirical testing on a global level, something barely done in works on F-SBR experiences worldwide. The obtained results supported some of the arguments uttered in the literature while raising questions on others, opening the field for future research on the matter.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 45 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 January 2020

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

Why are state business relations in Egypt characterized by widely acknowledged high levels of cronyism? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the institutional…

Abstract

Purpose

Why are state business relations in Egypt characterized by widely acknowledged high levels of cronyism? The purpose of this paper is to investigate the institutional factors explaining this research question with a focus on pre-2011 Egypt.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a general theoretical discussion, certain institutions were proposed as being responsible. A game theoretical model is then introduced. It explains why cronyism was the best strategy for various business players in contrast to aggregating and lobbying their efforts to obtain government available resources, whether these resources are energy subsidies, public banks’ credit or regulations. Then pre-2011 Egypt is discussed as a case study. This discussion is enriched by the available literature and empirical data.

Findings

Choosing cronyism was attributed to the presence of a weak and dependent private sector, where businesspeople are unable to aggregate their power; a relatively stronger government; poor governance performance; higher levels of regime legitimization practices, such as providing generous consumer subsidies; and economic growth caused by an increase in resources rather than by governance institutional improvement. A discussion of the available literature and empirical data on pre-2011 Egypt, going over the various proposed institutional factors, helped to support these arguments.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical evidence is needed to support and modify the suggestions of this paper. More detailed indicators would have further helped this research. Moreover, more case studies, other than the case of pre-2011 Egypt, are also needed. It is hoped that this paper would encourage further research endeavors that would cover these limitations.

Practical implications

Governance institutional reform is needed to minimize cronyism, especially institutions such as voice and accountability, rule of law, regulatory quality and control of corruption.

Social implications

This paper can explain why high levels of cronyism are witnessed in many countries of the world, including the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The region shares many institutional factors with Egypt. Governments in the MENA region have various sources of power with regard to their dependent private sectors added to the general poor performance in various governance indicators in the region.

Originality/value

The deep analysis conducted in this paper for the causes of Cronyism in Egypt has not been done elsewhere. This is also true for the whole MENA region. The introduced theoretical model is the first trial of this sort and should be important for future works on this topic in the MENA region and developing countries.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2017

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

Abstract

Details

The Development of Socialism, Social Democracy and Communism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-373-1

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of Public Private Dialogues (PPD) on cronyism accounting for various cultural and governance institutions.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of Public Private Dialogues (PPD) on cronyism accounting for various cultural and governance institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

It proposes a number of hypotheses on: whether PPD characterized by high official representation and business representation, through mainly building trust, succeed in minimizing cronyism; whether certain cultural and governance institutions help PPD in achieving this; and in cultural settings which are originally inducing cronyism whether PPD help in minimizing cronyism. These are tested empirically using an ordinary least squares multivariate panel regression.

Findings

High official representation and high business people’s participation in PPD were found to help in minimizing cronyism in different cultures. This is arguably attributed to building trust in cultures characterized by having low general trust and low trust in governments. Accountability and transparency are significantly assisting PPD in this regard. Yet, PPD do not always succeed in taming cronyism, and in particular in ethnic fractionalized societies and societies having high collective cultures.

Research limitations/implications

The biggest challenge this research faced was estimating a proxy for PPD. Better data on business associations’ participation worldwide are needed to construct a more developed proxy.

Practical implications

PPD with high business participation and government representation should be encouraged. The same is true for reform leading to higher levels of transparency and accountability.

Originality/value

Constructing a proxy for PPD that allowed meta-analysis; and investigating theoretically and empirically the effect of the interaction of PPD with various institutions on cronyism.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

The purpose of this paper is to explore which socioeconomic and institutional factors are responsible for different societies’ ideological choices, with reference to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore which socioeconomic and institutional factors are responsible for different societies’ ideological choices, with reference to Marxist socialism. Which factors led to the rise of the popularity of socialism? And which factors made a socialist variant relatively more successful in one society but not the other, with social democracy and communism being the focus of the study?

Design/methodology/approach

Conducting a global theoretical and empirical study on the period between the late 1890s and 1945. The theoretical part discusses various perspectives presented in the literature, accounting for the works of major sociologists (e.g.: M. Mann, Lipset) and political theorists (e.g.: Marx, Engels, Lenin). The empirical part uses a number of OLS multivariate panel regressions using voting to various socialist movements as dependent variables, and socioeconomic and institutional factors as independent variables.

Findings

Some of the findings of the conducted empirical study are that: democracy, industrialization, high population growth rates, low linguistic or religious homogeneity, more years of schooling and less years since independence or creation increase the social democrat (SD) vote. The communist vote was affected positively by more urbanization; higher population growth; less years of schooling; more years since independence; recent experience of war; and the presence of insignificant religious minorities. Inequality seemed also to have been a strong significant factor for raising the popularity of various socialist parties, especially when countries were long-established or created. Countries which had a fresh experience with war devastation or which were highly urbanized while having higher levels of inequality witnessed an increasing vote share for the communists. More votes went to SD; however, when inequality existed in highly industrialized countries. High GDP growth, matched with higher inequalities, did not seem to have encouraged voting for various socialist parties, and even affected the communist vote negatively.

Research limitations/implications

There were data limitations on the available proxies.

Practical implications

This study suggests welfarism, public spending on education, social inclusion and democratization as remedies for radicalism, regardless of the ideological origins of such radicalism.

Originality/value

Its novelty is attributed to the deep analytical dimension for the issue done here, combining theory, an empirical study made possible by the newly available rich historical data.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 38 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2017

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

Abstract

Details

The Development of Socialism, Social Democracy and Communism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-373-1

Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2017

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

Abstract

Details

The Development of Socialism, Social Democracy and Communism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-373-1

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 18 August 2017

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

Abstract

Details

The Development of Socialism, Social Democracy and Communism
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-373-1

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Mohamed Ismail Sabry

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretically and empirically which institutional factors (including good governance ones) help public-private partnerships (PPP…

2207

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretically and empirically which institutional factors (including good governance ones) help public-private partnerships (PPP) in providing better infrastructural services, which would then in their turn lead to attracting more private investment for the whole economy.

Design/methodology/approach

On the theoretical level, while a focus is put on discussing the institutions that should be responsible for PPP success, reconciliation is being attempted between institutional economics from one side and the new public management and networks management perspectives from the other. Empirically, OLS multivariate panel regressions test the suggestions of the theoretical discussion with emphasis on interaction terms between PPP and the studied institutions.

Findings

Evidence is found that good governance institutions, and specifically good regulatory quality, bureaucratic efficiency and independence, help PPP in performing well as evident from their positive effect on investment growth.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this paper are mainly empirical. Further results with great policy implications could have been obtained if better proxies were developed for a number of variables. Certainly this is the case for the proxies used for cronyism and public-private dialogues (PPD).

Practical implications

Tackling bureaucratic efficiency and independence and higher regulatory quality should be a top priority if the great positive externalities resulting from PPP in infrastructure are to be realized.

Originality/value

The novelty of this research is attributed to constructing a proxy for PPP, as well as testing empirically the effect of the interactions of PPP with other institutional variables on the performance of infrastructural services (as evident from attracting more investment). The synthesis between the literature on PPP, new public management, networks, good governance, and institutional economics is another aspect of this work. The obtained results suggest important policy recommendations, and, the author hopes to, add to the literature on PPP.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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