Crime as a Cultural Problem. The Relevance of Perceptions of Corruption to Crime Prevention. A Comparative Cultural Study in the EU-Candidate States Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Turkey and the EU-States Germany and Greece

Crime as a Cultural Problem. The Relevance of Perceptions of Corruption to Crime Prevention. A Comparative Cultural Study in the EU-Candidate States Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Turkey and the EU-States Germany and Greece

2006-2009

The project aims to analyse perceptions of corruption held by political and administrative decision-makers in specific regions and cultures, those held by actors representing various institutions and authorities, and above all by the citizens and the media of the various countries. The project subscribes to the general thesis is that these greatly differing perceptions of corruption, determined as they are by “mentality“, have significant influence on the respective awareness of the problem and thereby on the success of any preventative measures. For this reason, the project investigates the fit between “institutionalised“ prevention and how it is understood in “daily practice“, as well as how selected EU candidate countries and EU member countries handle the issue of corruption as a result. In a final step, the project indicates specific ways of readjusting this “fit“ and investigate which role the media play within this process in each individual country.

The project uses the grounded theory approach and proceeds according to a four-step plan: 1. collection of social scientific data on cultural patterns of how “corruption“ is perceived on the basis of documents of six focus groups (politics, law, police, media, civil society and economy; 2. collection of social scientific data on cultural patterns of how “corruption“ is perceived on the basis of semi-structured expert interviews with representatives of the six focus groups mentioned above; 3. evaluation of the existing EU and international programs for the prevention of corruption as well as those in the individual countries (on the basis of the results of 1. and 2.); 4. presentation of the results (of 1. and 2.) to experts representing EU and international institutions and the individual countries accompanied by the development of optimal preventative measures in an interactive scientists-experts workshop.

Period: 2006-2009

Coordinator of the consortium: Professor Hans-Georg Soeffner, University of Konstanz, Germany

Coordinator Romania: Professor Ioan Mărginean

Research team: Dr Iuliana Precupetu, Cosmina Elena Pop, Ana Maria Preoteasa

Partners:  University of Konstanz; University of Tübingen; Centre for Liberal Strategies; Research Institute for Quality of Life; Galatasaray University; University of Zagreb; National School of Public Administration and Local Government; Panteion University; South East European Studies at Oxford.

Funding: 6th Framework Programme of the European Union

Key words: perceptions of corruption, qualitative research, grounded theory

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Phone: 021.318.24.61