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JSPES, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 2005)
pp. 9-40

Corruption in Post-Communist Europe: Immorality Breeds Poverty

Robert Zuzowski

University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Corruption plays a central role in many nations and even in some international institutions. In this article, the author reviews a vast literature, including empirical studies and perceptual surveys, relating to the existence, effects and causes of corruption, giving particular emphasis to the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe. He indicates that during the Cold War there was a taboo against discussing the subject, allegedly for fear of appearing judgmental toward Third World peoples whose support was desired, but also because the West sought the support of the leaders of these countries on the international scene. He argues that corruption is a moral problem, and is not to be understood simply as economic maladjustment.