Twenty-Five Years after the Fall of Communism: Toward a Symbolic Interactionist Approach to the Study of Corruption in Central and Eastern Europe


Even when the domestic political system has undergone reform, it sometimes seems unlikely that any outside force can introduce enough of a “carrot and stick” approach to persuade a country to maintain momentum. This article is concerned with understanding the cultural peculiarities of fighting corruption and building civil society in Romania, where despite the tough EU monitoring and domestic anti-sleaze efforts, corruption and low trust remain significant problems. Many of the theorists in the post-communist literature argue that socioeconomic factors and the communist legacy have weakened post-communist civil society in the region. This article explores the question whether corruption has replaced the legacy of communism as a factor undermining trust in others and government in Romania and presents an examination of the association between corruption and post-communist civil society. The article argues that future research needs to switch focus from discussing Romanian social, political, and cultural behaviors from a longue durée perspective to evaluating the impact of political corruption on trust and, hence, civil society in Romania.

Author Information
Roxana Toma, SUNY Empire State College, USA

Paper Information
Conference: ACBPP2015
Stream: Politics – Governance

This paper is part of the ACBPP2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon