Corruption and anti-corruption local discourses and international practices in post-socialist Romania : Human Affairs

www.degruyter.com uses cookies, tags, and tracking settings to store information that help give you the very best browsing experience.
To understand more about cookies, tags, and tracking, see our Privacy Statement
I accept all cookies for the De Gruyter Online site

Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2014: 0.119
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2014: 0.033
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2014: 0.056

VolumeIssuePage

Issues

Corruption and anti-corruption local discourses and international practices in post-socialist Romania

1120Dipartimento di Scienze sociali e delle istituzioni, University of Cagliari c/o Ex Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Via S. Giorgio, 12, 09124, Cagliari, Italy

© 2013 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Human Affairs. Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 212–229, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: 10.2478/s13374-013-0120-x, March 2013

Publication History

Published Online:
2013-03-28

Abstract

In the past two decades academic and research literature on “corruption” has flourished. During the same period organizations and initiatives fighting against corruption have also significantly expanded, turning “anti-corruption” into a new research subject. However, despite a few exceptions there is a division of labor between scholars who study corruption itself and those who study the global anti-corruption industry. Juxtaposing corruption’s local discourses and anti-corruption international practices, this article is an attempt to bring together these two intertwined research dimensions and explore how an ethnographic approach might contribute to framing them together. Firstly, it describes how corruption in Romania is often conceptualized and explained in terms of national heritage, something related to old and recent cultural history, including traditional folklore. Secondly, it explores how anti-corruption works in practice, focusing on international legal cooperation projects monitoring the progress and shortcomings both prior to and post Romania’s accession to the European Union. Finally, revealing the articulations of these two apparently unrelated research fields, the article argues that corruption’s local explanations and the circular logic of auditing observed within the anti-corruption industry share a common developmental ideology mirroring the crypto-colonialist structure of power relations and dependency among European nation-states emerging out of the Cold War.

Keywords: corruption; anti-corruption; international legal cooperation; postsocialism; Romania, social anthropology

  • [1] Blundo, G. (Ed.). (2000). Monnayer les pouvoirs. Espaces, mécanismes et répresentations de la corruption. Nouveaux Cahiers de l IUED, 9. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

  • [2] Blundo, G., Olivier de Sardan J.-P. (Eds.). (2006). Everyday Corruption and the State. Citizens and Public Officials in Africa. London: Zed Books. [Web of Science]

  • [3] Comaroff, J. and Comaroff, J. (Eds.). (2006). Law and Disorder in the Postcolony. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • [4] Djuvara, N. (2000). O scurta istorie a romanilor povestita celor tineri. Bucureşti: Humanitas.

  • [5] Eliade, M. (1997 [1943]). Breve storia della Romania e dei Rumeni. Roma: Settimo Sigillo (originally published in Portuguese).

  • [6] Fochi, A. (1964). Mioriţa. Tipologie, circulaţie, geneză, texte. Bucureşti: Editura Academiei R.P.R.

  • [7] Haller, D., Shore, C. (Eds.) (2005). Understanding Corruption: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Pluto Press.

  • [8] Harrison, E. (2006). Unpacking the Anti-Corruption Agenda: Dilemmas for Anthropologists. Oxford Development Studies 34, 15–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600810500495915 [CrossRef]

  • [9] Hartog, F. (2007 [2002]). Regimi di storicit. Presentismo e esperienze del tempo. Palermo: Sellerio (originally published in French).

  • [10] Hasty, J. (2005). The Pleasures of Corruption. Desire and Discipline in Ghanaian Political Culture”. Cultural Anthropology 20, 271–301. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/can.2005.20.2.271 [CrossRef]

  • [11] Herzfeld, M. (1992). The Social Production of Indifference. Exploring the Symbolic Roots of Western Bureaucracy. New York: Berg.

  • [12] Herzfeld, M. (1997). Cultural Intimacy. Social Poetics in the Nation-State. New York & London: Routledge.

  • [13] Herzfeld, M. (2002). The Absent Presence: Discourses of Crypto-Colonialism. South Atlantic Quarterly 101, 899–926. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00382876-101-4-899 [CrossRef]

  • [14] Hindess, B. (2009). Anti-Corruption as a Risk to Democracy: On the Unintended Consequences of International Anti-Corruption Campaigns. In L. de Sousa, P. Larmour, B. Hindess (Eds.). Governments, NGOs and Anti-Corruption: The New Integrity Warriors, pp. 19–32. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • [15] Mattei, U., Nader, L. (2008). Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal. London: Routledge.

  • [16] Mosse, D. (2005). Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London: Pluto Press.

  • [17] Mrejeru, T. et al. (2000). Infracţiunile de corupţie. Aspecte teoretice şi practice. Bucureşti. All Beck.

  • [18] Nicolau, I. (2001). Hoţia la romani. Inainte şi după 23 August. Dilema, 448 (thematic issue: Foloasele şi ponoasele corupţiei).

  • [19] Nuijten, M., Anders, G. (Eds.). (2007). Corruption and the Secret of Law: a Legal Anthropological Perspective. Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • [20] Panaite, V. (2000). The Ottoman Law of War and Peace. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • [21] Pardo, I. (Ed.). (2006). Between Morality and the Law. Corruption, Anthropology and Comparative Society. Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • [22] Polzer, T. (2001). Corruption: Deconstructing the World Bank Discourse. Development Studies Institute, Working Paper Series, LSE, n.01-18. Available at http://www2.lse.ac.uk/internationalDevelopment/pdf/WP/WP18.pdf (Accessed July 2012).

  • [23] Renzi, L. (1995). Cele mai vechi versiuni ale “Mioriţei. Dacoromania, n.s., 1(1994–1995), 87–102.

  • [24] Riles, Annelise (1998). Infinity within the Brackets. American Ethnologist 25, 378–398. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/ae.1998.25.3.378 [CrossRef]

  • [25] Sampford, C., Shacklock, A., Connors, C., Galtung, F. (Eds.). (2006). Measuring Corruption. Aldershot: Ashgate.

  • [26] Sampson, S. (2002). Weak States, Uncivil Societies and Thousands of NGOs. Western Democracy Export as Benevolent Colonialism in the Balkans. In S. Recic (Ed.). Cultural Boundaries of the Balkans. Lund: Lund University Press. Available at http://www.anthrobase.com/Txt/S/Sampson_S_01.htm (Accessed June 2011).

  • [27] Sampson, S. (2005). Integrity Warriors: Global Morality and the Anticorruption Movement in the Balkans. In D. Haller, C. Shore (Eds.). Understanding Corruption: Anthropological Perspectives, pp. 103–130. London: Pluto Press.

  • [28] Sampson, S. (2009). Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Southeast Europe: Landscapes and Sites. In L. de Sousa, P. Larmour, B. Hindess (Eds.). Governments, NGOs and Anti-Corruption: The New Integrity Warriors, pp. 168–186. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • [29] Sampson, S. (2010). The Anti-Corruption Industry: From Movement to Institution. Global Crime 11, 261–278. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17440571003669258 [CrossRef]

  • [30] Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2007). Beyond Abyssal Thinking. From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledges. Review. A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center XXX-1, 45–89. Available at http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2007-06-29-santos-en.html (Accessed June 2011).

  • [31] Sharma, A. (2006). Crossbreeding Institutions, Breeding Struggle: Women’s Employment, Neoliberal Governmentality, and State (Re)Formation in India. Division II Faculty Publications. Paper 40. Available at http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/div2facpubs/40 (Accessed July 2012)

  • [32] Shore, C. (2008). Audit culture and Illiberal Governance: Universities and the Politics of Accountability. Anthropological Theory 8, 278–99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1463499608093815 [CrossRef]

  • [33] Strathern, M. (Ed.). (2000). Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics, and the Academy. London: Routledge.

  • [34] Verdery, K. (1983). Transylvanian Villagers. Three Centuries of Political, Economic and Ethnic Change. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • [35] Zafiu, R. (2002). Şpaga. România literară 30, 15.

  • [36] Zerilli, F. M. (2003). Playing (with) Bribery. Ethnographic Images of Corruption in Romania. In C. Papa, G. Pizza, F.M. Zerilli (Eds.). La ricerca antropologica in Romania. Prospettive storiche ed etnografiche, pp. 275–308. Naples: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.

  • [37] Zerilli, F. M. (2010). The Rule of Soft Law: An Introduction. Focaal. Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 56(Spring), 3–18.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.