Anticorruption barometer


Foreword of professor Vladimíra Dvořáková

Corruption. Corruption is a phenomenon that we can find in many different countries with different regimes and characteristics. It is present in democracies, authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes. One can find the corruption phenomenon both in developed and underdeveloped countries, in centralized and decentralized political systems and also in states with high as well as low intensity of economic regulations. All these variables undoubtedly influence the type and character of corruption. The research and monitoring of corruption can help identify causal links explaining its genesis, spread and limits. It can also show impacts on social, economic and political life of the given polity.

The reason for monitoring corruption in the Czech Republic. Why to monitor corruption in a post-communist state, such as the Czech Republic? There is a number of reasons. First, in certain way post-communist countries can serve as a sort of a laboratory. Processes of transition, formation, institutionalization and consolidation of the new systems in these countries represent the deepest social and economic change in the modern history. This transformation happened recently and from the historical perspective, it took a rather short period of time. Therefore, it is still possible to capture a lot of things in order to learn from this history. Those who are not able to take a lesson from history are doomed to repeat past mistakes.

Systemic character of corruption of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic (unfortunately) provides an unusual number of examples and sources. Only in the period between January 2014 and August 2015, the Anticorruption barometr team found more than 1 400 articles related to corruption in the Czech online media. One does not have to conduct a deep analysis to understand that corruption in the Czech Republic is of systemic character, i.e. that it is integrated in and becomes an essential aspect of economic, social and political system. The systemic character of corruption results from weakening or an outright elimination of control and supervisory mechanisms routinely present in other countries as well as from deformation or simple ignorance of rules and processes in public decision-making.

The unique character of the Anticorruption barometer. Nowadays, there are hundreds of articles and even monographs devoted to researching and combating corruption. They mostly combine theoretical approaches with case studies in which particular features of the problem can be well-documented and can serve as a laboratory for such research. The Anticorruption barometer logic is based on conclusion of this research and in addition provides a further source of information: newspaper articles which mostly contain concrete information about corruption cases and their (un)succesful regulation attempts. Furthermore, the Anticorruption barometer informs about law proposals, processes of their adoption and their final state. takes this research as a basis and complements them with two other sources of information: online newspaper articles, mostly providing raw information about corruption cases and a regulation failure, and laws or proposals. The unique character of the Anticorruption barometer resides in its ability to match an expert analysis with an extensive volume of information, all in a way easily understandable to the general public.

Anticorruption barometer as a driver of positive changes. The Anticorruption barometer is, however, not only a means for monitoring the quality of existing and future legislation aimed at combatting corruption. Thanks to its bilingual character it has also an ambition to become a driver for a positive change. The Czech, European as well as non-European public (in particular large investors) will appreciate an independent source of information about the state of fight with corruption in the Czech Republic. This may increase the pressure on the Czech political elites to adopt real systemic anticorruption measures which would reflect positive experience from abroad while taking into account specific features of the Czech „corruption environment“. Long-term investors always look for an economic and social environment of a certain quality. And the quality of life of citizens is its direct product.

prof. Vladimíra Dvořáková
University of Economics in Prague
(Chair of Political Sciences)