Exploring the Reasons for the Persistence and Spread of Corruption in Tehran Municipality

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Master of Urban Management, Department of Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Art, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Design, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Art, Tehran, Iran.


Nowadays, corruption in the public sphere is defined as a complex, systemic, organized, and collective phenomenon, often characterized by its "reproduction capability" and "cyclical nature"  that at times turns into a norm. So, one of the issues that has always impacted the lives of communities is corruption. It influences the macro-structures of society,  by hindering its economic, social, cultural and political development and resulting in inequality. , With the spread of corruption in the last two decades, there is a general consensus that corruption continues to resist the effort to curb it. In this respect, the main emphasis of the conducted studies has been on identifying the bases of corruption persistence. This study aims to identify the structure in persistence and consolidation of corruption in the new form of networked and systematic concepts of corruption. Local self-governing institutions are among the main locus of corruption due to workload, amount of relationships and interactions, type of activity, and resources available to them. Therefore, there is a possibility of corruption in municipal processes as a level of local government that is tasked with urban planning and development, implementation of policies, provision of facilities, preparation of procurement and contracts and so on. Therefore, municipalities, tasked with delivering essential services and enacting policies, confront increasingly intricate challenges and heightened expectations compared to previous eras. Municipalities that are important part of the local government structure in Iran, are no exception. The imperative for anti-corruption policies became apparent in the 1990s, as corruption threatened common societal interests.  Despite its detrimental effects, corruption has become ingrained to the extent that progress in various domains often hinges upon it. Hence, this study aimed to identify the structural dynamics shaping the persistence and consolidation of corruptionwithin Tehran's municipality. This research has gone one step further and examined the new features of corruption, including network corruption and organized corruption to identify the processes in persistence and consolidation of corruption using the mentioned concepts. Employing an interpretive paradigm, our qualitative study utilizes a content analysis methodology to delve into the intricate layers of corruption persistence and consolidation. The results show that the "power system monopoly" is the most important category of interest. The power system monopoly has led to the hierarchical and vertical distribution of the power system. Overall, "corruption of authorities" and "the lack of an evaluation system", due to mutual overlapping of "commonality and conflict of interests", have led to relations based on the general agreement of members and relations have expanded because of system supports and these to cause "persistence and consolidation the network of corrupt relations" in the structure of Tehran's municipality, respectively.


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