Workshop: How to tackle the different faces of state capture
You can listen to the Bangkok State Capture session by clicking on the play arrow below. Please note that panellists often speak in Spanish.
If you are having trouble hearing the sound, use the cursor to jump forward until the sound increases
State capture, understood as the phenomenon by which vested interests influence and manipulate the policy making process to its advantage, is a concept that was initially coined in the early 90’s when the privatisation process in Eastern Europe was bent to favour oligarchs’ interests. Since then, the concept has been broadened to include different channels through which actors influence policymakers, to include the fact that both legal and illegal entities are interested in capturing the state, and to include the fact that the intended goal goes beyond obtaining economic benefits –actors seek among many others judicial and administrative benefits -, and to include the fact that the focus of the capturing process is not exclusively the legislative branch of the government.
Although the concept has been used for more than a decade, several questions are still to be answered, namely how can civil society serve as a deterrent for the capture to take place. Even though the many faces of state capture should be addressed separately, it is crucial to understand the cross-cutting elements practitioners should have in mind when designing mechanisms that protect the system. It is clear that the only way for the safeguards to work is throughout collective action, therefore it is crucial to explore and understand the role different actors can play and how these roles interact.
The workshop presented the outcomes of recent research and experiences related to state capture and the different faces it has taken in practice in different regions. The workshop’s main objective was to draw policy recommendations on how civil society can work together with different stakeholders to tackle the different manifestations of state capture. It saught to encourage debate among the panellists on which are the cross-cutting elements that these approaches should include to move towards more effective institutions and policies.
Concretely, the workshop aimed at answering the following questions
1. What are the main channels by which vested interests (both legal and illegal) capture the state (political sphere, policy-making and service deliver processes)?
2. What are the key elements that need to be taken into consideration to safeguard the policy making process from being co-opted?
3. What are the main action-areas collective action should focus on to have the biggest effect when safeguarding the State of being co-opted?
Moderator: Jose Ugaz – From Benitez, Forno & Ugaz Abogados
Rapporteur: Andres Hernandez –Transparency International
Coordinator: Juanita Riano – Transparency International
Kwesi Aning – Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution Department (CPMRD) of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre
Vanja Calovi – NGO Network for the Affirmation of NGO Sector – MANS
Luis Jorge Garay – Metodo Social Scienes Institute INC.
Kevin Evans – Tiri