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Political Corruption in Eastern Europe: Politics After Communism

Tatiana Kostadinova
Political Corruption in Eastern Europe: Politics After Communism
ISBN: 978-1-58826-811-2
ISBN: 978-1-62637-415-7
2012/303 pages/LC: 2011046271
"Considers a great array of independent variables and explanations in order to arrive at an informed assessment of the causes of corruption in Eastern Europe."—Reinoud Leenders, Perspectives on Politics

"This polished and persuasive study deploys a wealth of methods and is rich in detail.... Anyone seriously interested in postcommunist corruption should read [it]."—Leslie Holmes, Slavic Review

"A comprehensive look at the causes and consequences of corruption in Eastern Europe."—Alexandru Grigorescu, Loyola University Chicago       

"A valuable analysis ... ambitious and convincing."—Rasma Karklins, University of Illinois at Chicago


Why has political corruption emerged as a major obstacle to successful democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe? Exploring the origins, scope, and impact of political corruption in the region's post communist states, Tatiana Kostadinova identifies the factors that favor illicit behavior and considers how the various forms of malfeasance are threatening democracy.

Rich cross-national data and an in-depth study of Bulgaria reveal how parties and their leaders have exploited the transitional environment for private benefit, as well as how domestic and external forces—including the EU integration process—are constraining corruption. Kostadinova's conclusions point to the policy-relevant implications of her study for Eastern Europe, and for transitional democracies around the world.


Tatiana Kostadinova is associate professor of political science at Florida International University. She is author of Bulgaria 1879–1946: The Challenge of Choice.


  • Introduction.
  • Corruption in the Context of Postcommunist Transition.
  • Identifying Specific Factors: A Quantitative Investigation.
  • Party and Election Finance.
  • Networks of Corruption:  "Friendly Circles" in Bulgaria.
  • State Capacity: Is It Really the Problem?
  • EU Accession: Comparing Balkan Experiences.
  • Implications for Democracy: Corruption and Public Trust.
  • Implications for Democracy: Corruption Perceptions and Voting.
  • Conclusions.
  • Appendixes.