Spread of Corruption in Lithuania: Between Soviet Legacy and Market Pragmatism

Jolanta Palidauskaitė

Abstract


The purpose of the paper is to analyze the spread of corruption in Lithuania. The overview of studies and researches conducted in Lithuania allows a few observations. Research on corruption not only demonstrates the seriousness of the problem but also seeks to acknowledge its reasons and sensitive spheres.Lithuanian case study on corruption does not give a clear answer to the question whether corruption influences the economical and political development of the country or malfunction of the economic and political system creates the fertile ground for corrupt practices. Culture of blat, mutual obligations, and informal networks have not disappeared with the old system but have been transformed into new forms adapting to new circumstances. Unclear division between public-private relations, disrespect to state, authorities and law, tolerance to socially dubious practice is often observed in various spheres.
It is shown that transformation to the market economy has not abolished existing social maladies but in some cases leads to new forms of corrupt practice. Process of privatization opened possibilities for free market, private initiative, and public money. Simultaneously, privatization allowed public servants - the old nomenclature, and politicians using official position, information, personal relationships and old contacts - to become richer at the expense of the rest of the society. If a corruptive behavior is based on internalized moral norms and is considered as “a part of the game”, it is not easy to change. If morality is the problem, then the law may not be the first and the best answer. It is much easier to have a political will to solve institutionalized corruption by changing admi-nistrative practice, motivation, mechanisms of control and reassessment of pay system for officials.

Keywords


corruption; research on corruption; corruption perception; privatization; pragmatism inf-luenced by free market economy; consumerism; soviet mentality

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"Public Policy and Administration" ISSN online 2029-2872 / ISSN print 1648-2603