Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices
Abuse of Office, Informal Networks, “Moral Accountability” – Political Corruption in Bulgaria
In 2012, five years since joining the EU, Bulgaria was still much in a state of development, reform and indeed upheaval. Significant discrepancies and ambivalences can be observed between the new democratic and constitutional structures and their practical functioning, particularly, although not exclusively, on the level of politics. This chapter examines how the existence and the effects of political corruption represent an important characteristic and background to these developments. It argues that the influence of corrupt informal networks on the regional and national level has a large impact on the development of the country and that “arrangements” within the political and administrative spheres brought about a system that, from the very outset, fostered the unsanctioned appropriation of public and private resources at great cost to society. It will demonstrate that political corruption, patronage and clientelism through symbiotic relationships ensure the concentration of state resources in the hands of the few, so that the boundaries between state and private property are often blurred and a vicious circle exists through the relationships of mutual dependence, which serve to secure political and economic influence.
This chapter will show that political corruption is not just personal enrichment, economic damage and functional disorder of public institutions and the legal system. It illustrates that it is a dynamic phenomenon, which can include many varieties of corrupt behaviour, various constellations of involved individual and collective stakeholders and multidimensional factors contributing to its existence and determining its patterns. In this connection it makes...
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