Informal Practices and Corruption in Post-Conflict Areas: the Case of the West Balkans
While much is known about corruption in post-communist states, less is known about the impact of conflict on corruption in such states. The project seeks to fill this void. Large-scale qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (quota-based) surveys in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia are used to investigate the perceptions of and personal experiences of the following nine categories of elites with informal practices in general and the use of contacts and informal networks in particular: (1) elected representatives; (2) political party representatives; (3) public procurement officials; (4) representatives of organisations and institutions engaged in reconstruction; (5) representatives of local business; (6) representatives of foreign business; (7) judges and prosecutors; (8) media representatives; and (9) NGO representatives. Data generated as part of the project allows for an investigation of (a) the link between informal practices and corruption in the West Balkans; (b) how this link manifests itself in post-conflict reconstruction, public procurement, political party funding, lobbying and the judiciary; (c) the impact of national culture, history, communism and transition; and (d) the impact of conflict, on informal practices. In addition, data from the West Balkans will be compared with similar data from a recently completed NIBR-based international research project on informal relations and corruption in East Central and South East Europe, Project findings will be presented in peer-reviewed academic journals, at academic conferences and will also be used for policy-prescription.
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