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Dissertation zugänglich unter
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-90567
URL: http://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/volltexte/2018/9056/


Fighting corruption with pyramids : a law and economics approach to combating corruption in post-socialist countries ; The case study of the Republic of Serbia

Die Bekämpfung der Korruption mit Pyramid : Ein Rechts- und Wirtschaftsansatz zur Bekämpfung der Korruption in den postsozialistischen Ländern ; Die Fallstudie der Republik Serbien

Jakovljević, Ana

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 Dokument 1.pdf (3.505 KB) 


SWD-Schlagwörter: Korruption , Postkommunismus , Verwaltung
Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch): corruption , post-socialism , public administration
Basisklassifikation: 88.10
Institut: European Doctorate in Law & Economics (EDLE)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Wirtschaft
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Hauptberichter: Eger, Thomas (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 19.03.2015
Erstellungsjahr: 2015
Publikationsdatum: 01.06.2018
Kurzfassung auf Englisch: The discussion on corruption in law and economics approach is mainly run under the veil of Public choice theory and principal-agent model. This theory sees agents, politicians and bureaucrats, as rational self-maximisers who disregard public goals and as such should be monitored and sanctioned accordingly by the principal. In this context the policy makers should create incentive mechanism which imposes obstacles to corrupt behaviour. Based on this approach the anti-corruption policies created repression-prevention-transparency model. The dominant aspect of this model presents deterrence since variety of international convention insists on criminalisation of various acts of power abuse. Based on this model, countries around the world adopted anti-corruption strategies as part of their legal rules. Nevertheless, the recent researches on the effects of this move show non impressive results. The argument that “one size does not fit all” is one of the main raised by the critics. The explanation for this claim, according to criticizers, comes from the fact that not all countries are the same because their institutional setting varies. The dominant approach asks for overreliance on the criminal justice system, judiciary and police, taking for granted their impartiality and effectiveness. However, this situation is more exception than the rule in many countries around the world. The main problem of this approach according to some researcher lays in the fact that in these countries institution do not function because, even though people condemn corruption, they engage in it because they lack trust in other citizens and think that all the others are doing the same. This is identified as collective action problem as opposed to the principal-agent model.
Among the countries which experience problems of corruption, even though they follow the dominant anti-corruption trends, are transitional, post-socialist countries. To this group belong the countries which are emerging from centrally planned to an open market economy. After the state’s collapse international financial institutions took the leading advisory role and promoted the immediate implantation of the ideas grounded in the neoclassical economy. However, the results of this approach revealed important shortcomings, of which increased corruption was one. This outcome amplified the voices of institutional economists who from the beginning argued for gradualist approach towards the institutional change. Their claims pointed out that the change of formal institutions is not difficult to achieve. It is enough to change the written laws according to the requirements. However, the informal institutions are those which stay for a long time in people as “mental models” and they could not be changed overnight. These claims demand a deeper analysis of the social systems and their mechanisms before engaging in a design of any reform policy.
Following these claims, the conclusion might be that any sound anti-corruption policy implemented in post-socialist countries should take into account their idiosyncrasies which are the results of the previous regime. The closer look to socialism provides an interesting description in terms of its institutional setting, mentality of the individuals and their interrelation.
If this idiosyncrasy is taken into account the suggestion in this thesis is that in the cases of corruption combat in public administration in post-socialist countries, instead of dominant anti-corruption scheme repression-prevention-transparency, corruption combat should be improved through the implementation of a new one, structure-conduct-performance. This scheme in its first element, the structure, includes the type of public administration which should be implemented because it curbs corruption the best way. Analysis provided a view which puts the Neo Weberian State as the first best and Weberian administration as the second best solution. The second element, the conduct, should be treated according to the Responsive Regulation theory. Based on it an anti-corruption pyramid if implemented might provide the optimal results. This pyramid aims to coordinate human’s preferences, propensity to corruption based in cultural specificities and transparency and accountability, and to put constraints on unwanted behaviour by imposing administrative and criminal sanctions. Regarding relevant cultural aspects pyramid addresses: universalism and particularism, individualism and collectivism, and power distance. The imposition of sanctions is further regulated by disciplinary anti-corruption pyramid and criminal anti-corruption pyramid whose implementation is based on the type of the corrupt act in question: if it is “legal” then the former pyramid should be applied and if it is “illegal” the latter one. Finally, if the first two elements are implemented the anti-corruption performance should be improved. This new “pyramid approach”, suggested to post-socialist countries, asks public administration itself to engage in corruption combat, leaving criminal justice system as the ultimate weapon, used only for the very harmful misdeeds. With this self-control mechanism, administration should be able to build internal coherence and strength. There is no doubt that corruption harms societies in many ways and that policy makers should promote zero tolerance to corruption. However in the case of transitional countries instead of the first best, for a while the second best solution should be applied which is suggested by the anti-corruption pyramid(s). Going one step back does not necessarily mean failure but rather taking a run at faster improvement.

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