The volume demonstrates the suitability of the theory of social constructivism in portraying and analyzing the diversity of the phenomenon of corruption. The approach of social constructivism taken in this volume is able to reconstruct the 'construction of corruption' both from a societal perspective, by assessing it as generally accepted or tolerated behaviour in more or less standardized rule-governed social situations, and from the perspective of actors who perceive corrupt behaviour as problem solving in everyday life. The volume proves the usefulness of a social construction perspective for empirical research. It contains case studies of social definitions of corruption in eleven European countries that contribute in different ways to establishing a grounded theory of the phenomenon of corruption.
’This book provides a comprehensive and timely argument that there is no clear correlation between democratization and a diminution of corruption, or consolidated democracy as its end game. The range of country perspectives and points along the developmental trajectory evidences the need for a more nuanced understanding of definitions, perceptions and the basis for reform.’ Alan Doig, University of Birmingham, UK