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Legal Culture and Anti-Corruption Reform: the Case of the West Balkans (2010-14)

While quite a lot is known about corruption and anti-corruption efforts in post-communist states, we know less about the impact of anti-corruption reform. 

Such reform is, as a rule, initiated by the international community.  However, so far no systematic study of how anti-corruption reform interacts with the broader cultural, legal, political and socio-economic context into which it is introduced, has been undertaken.

Our previous study of informal practice in the West Balkans investigated theopportunity structures motivating, and the informal mechanisms facilitating, corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia from the pointof view of the elites. They perceived informal practice primarily as a result of national culture and to a lesser extent as a result of the socialist experience,transition and war.

This project takes our research on informal practice and corruption one step further by investigating

1. the legal culture into which anti-corruption reform is introduced
2. the anti-corruption reform measures themselves,
3. the interaction between (1) and (2) in Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia, respectively.

More specifically, the project contrasts the views of legal insiders and legal outsiders, and the ethnic/religious titular and minority groups, on five key dimensions of legal culture, as well as on corruption & anti-corruption efforts.

The project offers an alternative and novel approach to the study of anti-corruption reform in post-communist states more generally, and in the West Balkans in particular. What is more, it represents the first systematic attempt to provide an analysis of legal culture; and investigate anti-corruption reform as a legal transplant, in the West Balkans.

Data generated by the project will be of interest both to academics and policy makers working legal culture, EU integration, and corruption.



  • Norges Forskningsråd