Institutional Problems

Dr. Taha Farie Ghaleb

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Institutions are of great importance in the development process. The Encyclopædia Britannica and the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences make the existence of these institutions one of the basic standards of civilization and put them on an equal footing with other standards such as technology, communication or transportation and others.


The American political scientist Myron Weiner asserts that any modern political system, whether democratic or totalitarian, is necessarily characterized by the presence of many institutions and procedures to solve and settle the conflicts that accompany modern societies.


Weiner attributes the success of a society compared to another to the ability of the successful society members to build complex institutions, adapt and maintain them to achieve common goals.


In fact, the societies that have had these capabilities have achieved real success and progress with great efficiency, such as Germany, Japan, the United States and England. 


It is through the organizational skills, talents, and capabilities needed to build effective and complex institutions that the society can steadily achieve technological innovation and economic and social development.


Indeed, the organization is a prerequisite for progress; it represents the conduit in which the individuals' opinions, preferences, and efforts to achieve common ends is gathered, unlike the societies that lack the capacity to build the institutions that suffer from organizational collapse.

Institutions are patterns of recurring actions that are established to determine the behavior of the members of that institution within the institution or in its relations with other units of the political and social system, and to project power in the system in the form of movement or flowing group spirit.

Examples of the main institutions in the civil and military bureaucracy include the institutions of legislation, education, mass communication, parties, interest groups, authorities, clubs, and associations such as religious, commercial, banking and other associations.

The process of building institutions refers to the multiplicity of lessons and experiences in which two main aspects may be available, the first of which is related to innovation and competition without giving up the importance of the historical context and the development that society has gone through, and the second is the necessity of benefiting from what exists, building on it, or integrating with it, so as not to lose or waste existing capabilities in the society that can be developed and benefit from the experience associated with it.


Institutional problems:

There are many problems facing institution building, especially in the developing countries, perhaps the most important of which are the following:

  1. Government weakness and its inability to act effectively, and its inability to exercise and manage the military and economic technological requirements imposed by contemporary society, including comprehensive planning.

  2. Lack of institutional reform which plays an important role in building the institutions.

  3. Institutions conflict with the prevailing customs and norms which restricts them, and requires the state to solve the duplication.

  4. The absence of general rules that express the interests, beliefs and common and constant values ​​of the society in particular.

  5. Most of the developing systems are witnessing a rigid separation and division among these institutions in a way that prevents people from moving from one institution to another.

  6. The difficulty of accessing information, as the process of building institutions requires openness to the world and greater freedom for the circulation of information. The studies confirm that the free flow of information would make the balance of individuals’ behavior easier, and thus the possibility of changing it, and improving the quality of the institution even if the institutional structure itself did not change. It also provides an actual possibility to change certain behavioral patterns and habits, or individuals’ incentives to participate in many institutions, confront corruption and reduce its possibilities.

  7. The absence of special selective controls to achieve transparency and good organization and management. Malaysia, for example, only succeeded when it worked on a comprehensive institutional renewal of the capital market instead of the old regulation carried over from the English experience, where the market is self-regulating, after the financial crisis that hit it in 1997.

  8. Institutions are required to play a major role in the social arena in order to get closer to the members of the society and strengthen their relationship with them and break isolation. These activities will inevitably bring them closer to the society in general.

  9. In general, it can be said that developing countries do not have institutions at the level that is needed in order to transform demands into policies, decisions, or movements. It is noted here:


First: These countries do not have the criteria which proliferation can sufficiently stimulate the political system and push it as a whole into the institution-building process. Moreover, the absence of these criteria is the most important issue because it may cause the collapse of these developing political systems, not only due to the corruption or the looseness of these systems and the weakness of their institutional structure, but also due to the variation in the pattern of the spread of power, and the restrictions imposed on the stronger institutions, which hinders them from advancing weak and vulnerable institutions.


Second: The spread of power to the periphery of the social system would change the quantity and quality of demands, which would impose increasing restrictions on the ability of institutions to transform these demands into an effective governmental movement, and this might result in the emergence of crises.


Third: The timing and sequence in the process of institution-building and the increasing spread of power is of central importance, which assumes sequencing in the development process, and requires the need for a rapid rate of the process of institutionalizing the government and its organizations in a way that precedes the formation of parties and electoral systems. The importance of these demands and conditions increases when the demands escalate as a result of the uncontrolled spread of incoming values ​​and standards, or through increased friction with the international environment and its pressure, regardless of the institutions' ability to meet and confront the demands.

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