How Can High Levels of Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe Be Explained? What Impact Does It Have on Societies at Large?

2176 Words Apr 19th, 2012 9 Pages
How can high levels of corruption in Central and Eastern Europe be explained? What impact does it have on societies at large?
Corruption constitutes a significant part of politics in Eastern Europe to the extent that “talking about corruption is the way post- communist public talks about politics, economy about past and future” (Krastov, p 43). Transparency International defines corruption as “a misuse of public power for the private gain at the expense of the public good”. There are different types of corruption: bureaucratic, political –administrative, political legislative and judicial corruption. (Ott, p 72). Scholars introduced many potential explanations behind the astronomical levels of corruption in Central and Eastern Europe. In
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Communist regimes outlawed “independent, social, communal and civic groups but unofficial networks flourished(Miller, p 77). During the transitional period, in Eastern Europe most corruption took places “during business transactions with public administration and government offices” (Zuzowski, p 137), this in turn discouraged foreign investment. Examples provided by Walezcki state that in 1998 the Czech deputy prime minister and minister of environment resigned as a result of a political scandal concerning secret donations made to the Civic Democratic Alliance by Czech companies. CDA alliance received 1 million into its illegal Credit Suisse account. The party then used the money to pay for its 1996 election campaign (Walezcki, p 244). Political corruption such as this occurred during the transition period at all levels of society and was poorly regulated, which allowed itto become widespread. Additionally, the uniqueness of the eastern European case following the collapse of the centralised state, allowed favourable circumstances and opportunities that almost sanctioned corruption.
According to L&S (who’s L&S?)“old habits die hard, and established structures and procedures remain to influence, both through inertia and as a safety net in confusing times”(p 89(L&S). However, there is an alternative view that suggests that corruption is not culturally inherited and permanent, but is actually temporary. It can

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