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Emerging Trends in Asset Recovery

Gretta Fenner-Zinkernagel, Charles Monteith and Pedro Gomes Pereira

Street protests in the ‘Arab Spring’ countries have illustrated that public demand for recovering stolen assets has grown exponentially, as have expectations by concerned populations and governments. From a topic discussed in expert forums, it has thus become a topic of the people. The question is: Have practitioners and policy makers delivered on these expectations?
Clearly, since the ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) ten years ago, much progress has been made in streamlining respective legal and institutional frameworks. On the other hand, we also find that practical successes on the ground remain few and far apart, and largely limited to a handful of countries.
This book asks why and, through the voice of renowned practitioners from a broad range of affected countries, analyses challenges that remain, identifies new stumbling blocks that have cropped up, and discusses practical solutions that are being tested with a view to overcoming these.
The book is published by the Basel Institute on Governance’s International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR).


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Road to recovering stolen assets 1


Road to recovering stolen assets Part 1: The Arab spring ARNOLD HOTTINGER Two years later: The Arab revolutions in transition To date the Arab revolutions that swept over Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria at the beginning of 2011 have not achieved their goal of a transition from paternalistic, authoritarian state struc- tures to new participatory regimes. The years following 2011 have shown that the transition will take years, at best, and that the possibili- ties of failure are real. Since the revolutions the ruling patriarch was ousted in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. In Bahrain the leader has managed to stifle the revolution, at least temporarily. In Syria a civil war has developed, and in Yemen it is a distinct danger. In Libya a foreign intervention derailed an imminent civil war and transformed the conflict into a relatively short, foreign assisted inter-Libyan war. Much has remained Even in countries where the ruling patriarchs were removed the build- ing blocks of their power structures remain. The armies, the bureau- cracies, the police apparatus, the judiciary, the state media and signifi- cant parts of the economic structures, both private and state owned, persist post-revolution. In Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – where elections have been held – new ruling powers have come to the fore. However, it cannot be said that participatory structures (i.e. democratic struc- tures) have been definitely established. Rather, potential new strong- men attempt to found their own authoritarian regimes. This development is not surprising. The surviving building blocks of...

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