What I found interesting in the Lodge reading is that is stated that centralized countries (like South Africa) are more likely to be corrupt than noncentralized countries (or at least that centralized systems can contribute to corruption). I wonder if this is the case because in federal systems political accountability comes from the people (because they vote in elections for multiple, distinct levels of government) whereas centralized systems have political accountability from bureaucrats and party officials above them. This would imply that bureaucracies are dependent on political accountability, and that the way political accountability is set up directly affects corruption.
The bureaucracy in South Africa is transitioning and becoming increasingly political; meaning more political appointments and pressures under the ANC. Cameron identifies a paradox emerging- one in which the politicians want higher quality service delivery from bureaucrats, but at the same time do not trust even senior political appointees to do this. Finally, there is also a high turnover rate of bureaucrats, so Cameron recommends moving to a more merit based system, rather than increasingly relying on appointments.
This article examines how the imperative to undo institutionalized racism has played out in the South African bureaucracy, and specifically how it works against many Weberian ideals. von Holdt touches on how many state leaders have attempted to create a modern bureaucracy, yet their first priority has actually been to eliminate racist undertones present in the system. Racism permeated every aspect of society during apartheid, meaning that even things like recruitment based on skill and respect of authority have complex racial pasts that the ANC is trying to reshape, resulting in a bureaucracy that is shaped by nationalism rather than the Weberian model.
This article begins as most do; states what its purpose is and defines some key terms. Following the introduction, Lodge provides a brief description of the South African Government’s bureaucracy and the state of corruption in other African countries. In the middle of the article, historical accounts of South Africa’s apartheid and post-apartheid corruption scandals. Finally, the article concludes by analyzing the generalization of theses accounts to try to find general trends of corruption.
In his article on corruption the Mexican political system Morris begins by saying that corruption has always been a part of the Mexican government tot he point where the two have become synonymous. Morris also hypothesizes that the longstanding negative public reaction to the government, as well as cyclical presence of anti corruption campaigns show that corruption coincides with political stability and that the causes of corruption have not changed much over time. What has changed is the kind of corruption that ensues. As external pressures have increased the stabilizing effect of corruption has changed.
Especially in the Morris reading it was interesting to see how in 1999 the author discussed the long history in the country. The rule of the PRI and President Salinas ended in 1997 and the article says Mexico had a “historically unique opportunity” to combat corruption and increase transparency. I find this interesting because the small amount of information I know about the Mexican government revolves around the most recent presidential transition from Pena Nieto to AMLO. After he left office, Pena Nieto was found to have been bribed. While I do not know if many changes occurred in the last two decades, it appears that although the situation was ripe for reform, nothing significantly changed the corrupt nature of the government.