A Discourse Analysis of Corruption: Instituting Neoliberalism Against Corruption in Albania, 1998-2005, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

A Discourse Analysis of Corruption

Instituting Neoliberalism Against Corruption in Albania, 1998-2005, 1st Edition

By Blendi Kajsiu


224 pages

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Hardback: 9781472431301
pub: 2015-01-01
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pub: 2016-03-16
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Why did Albania enjoy some of the most successful anti-corruption programs and institutions along with what appeared to be growing levels of corruption during the period 1998-2005? Looking at corruption through a post-structuralist discourse analysis perspective this book argues that the dominant corruption discourse in Albania served primarily to institute the neoliberal order rather than eliminate corruption. It did so in four interrelated ways. First, blaming every Albanian failure on corruption avoided a critical engagement with the existing neoliberal developmental model. Second, the dominant articulation of corruption as abuse of public office for private gain consigned it to the public sector, transforming neoliberal policies of privatisation and expanding markets into anticorruption measures. Third, international anticorruption campaigns reproduced an asymmetric relationship of dependency between Albania and the international institutions that monitored it by articulating corruption as internal to the Albanian condition. Finally, against corruption international and local actors could articulate a neoliberal order that was free of internal contradictions and fully compatible with democratization. As a rare example of post-structuralist discourse analysis of corruption this book can be useful for future research on discourses of corruption in other countries of the region and beyond.


’In post-communist Albania, anti-corruption reforms produced what the World Bank once called the best public administration institutions in the region�, yet Albania is still considered one of the most corrupt states in Europe. Kajsiu’s book resolves this apparent paradox by convincingly showing that the discourse of corruption has less to do with sanctioning illegal behavior and more with politically legitimizing far-reaching, market-based reforms.’ Besnik Pula, Princeton University, USA ’Anti-corruption discourses have long been at the centre of both academic debates and policy proposals in the Western Balkans. Focusing on the case of Albania, Kajsiu's excellent book offers a lucidly argued and sophisticated critique of the way in which such discourses have served to legitimise a neo-liberal order detrimental to an authentic renewal of the democratic public spirit. Those seeking to understand the pathologies of politics in the region will have a great deal to learn.’ Lea Ypi, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

About the Author

Blendi Kajsiu is lecturer at the University of New York in Tirana, Albania. He holds a Ph.D. in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. His research has appeared in journals such as East European Politics and Societies (EEPS), Nationalities Papers, and Südosteuropa.

About the Series

Southeast European Studies

Southeast European Studies

The Balkans are a region of Europe widely associated over the past decades with violence and war. Beyond this violence, the region has experienced rapid change in recent times though, including democratization, economic and social transformation. New scholarship is emerging which seeks to move away from the focus on violence alone to an understanding of the region in a broader context drawing on new empirical research.

The Southeast European Studies Series seeks to provide a forum for this new scholarship. Publishing cutting-edge, original research and contributing to a more profound understanding of Southeastern Europe while focusing on contemporary perspectives the series aims to explain the past and seeks to examine how it shapes the present. Focusing on original empirical research and innovative theoretical perspectives on the region the series includes original monographs and edited collections. It is interdisciplinary in scope, publishing high-level research in political science, history, anthropology, sociology, law and economics and accessible to readers interested in Southeast Europe and beyond.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Economic Conditions