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North Castle Books

The System Made Me Do It: Corruption in Post-Communist Societies
Authored by: Rasma Karklins

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-1633-3 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-1634-0
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USD: $86.95 USD: $32.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 232pp. Tables, figures, bibliography, index.
Publication Date: April 2005.  


Description: Most people in post-communist societies believe that corruption is widespread, and that they must play along because "the system" compels them to do so. But what system exactly? What are the structures and mechanisms of corruption in post-commmunist societies? And why is this corruption so pervasive and hard to fight?

The System Made Me Do It is the first comprehensive study of the origin, nature, and consequences of corruption in post-communist societies. While international actors decry corruption as a major impediment to democracy building and economic development, this book suggests innovative and practical institutional strategies for containing corruption. It achieves a rare and perfect balance of disciplined analysis, practicality, and passion.

Selected Contents:

List of Tables and Figures
1. Introduction: All Corruption Is Not the Same
2. The Typology of Post-Communist Corruption
3. The Experience of Corruption
4. Attitudes and Discourses About Corruption
5. Political Legacies: Old Habits Die Hard
6. The Opposites of Corruption
7. The Role of Institutions
8. Implementing Institutional Accountability
9. The Role of the Right Anti-Corruption Strategy
10. Conclusion: How to Contain Corruption
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

Comment(s): "Rasma Karklins masterfully blends general scholarship on corruption and democracy with an overview of the special case of countries making the transition from communism. She combines a neo-institutionalist approach with first-hand knowledge of the transition process to produce a book that should be of interest both to reformers in the region and to those interested in corruption's impact on democracy worldwide." -- Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale Law School

" The System Made Me Do It breaks new ground in its comprehensive and empirical analysis of the phenomenon of corruption -- a very difficult topic to research, given that corruption is so hidden. The book will be of interest to anyone seeking to come to grips with what is arguably the most important obstacle to the creation of viable democratic regimes and capitalist economies in the post-communist countries." -- Mark Beissinger, Princeton University

"Rasma Karklins shows us why corruption matters and how it can be realistically mitigated. She mixes theory with specific examples ... to provide insights that challenge conventional wisdoms. This book will change the way we think about the role of the press, non-governmental organizations, and culture in deterring individuals from acquiescing to corrupt practices." -- Roger Petersen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Review(s): "This book represents the state of the art in the field of corruption studies..." -- Transitions Online

"Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." -- Choice

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