Corruption in the Balkans: an examination of the ties between government and crime in several Southeast European countries
Heskett, Jonathan D.
Looney, Robert E.
Henderson, David R.
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The problem of corruption in civil administration has been around for as long as individuals have held public office. The Balkans has proved to be no exception. As early as the 16th century, corruption began to be tolerated and widely accepted within the region. The corruption problem was greatly exacerbated following the disintegration of communism and the successive civil wars that plagued Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s. During this period, governmental officials forged strong, unhealthy relationships with criminal elements. These close ties between organized crime and governmental officials have continued unabated until the present day and help form the basis of a pervasive culture of corruption in the region. This high level of corruption in the Balkans is problematic since both the EU and NATO have continued to expand eastward since the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Any new members admitted to either organization must share the same liberal democratic values that helped shape the original organizations and that are held dear by the current members. This thesis examines the corruption of six countriesAlbania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbiain the Balkans and provides recommendations the countries should follow in their ongoing fight against corruption.
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