chapter  6
15 Pages

The political economy of corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Since 1999-2000, when aid flows to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) began to slow down with a concomitant reduction in economic growth rates, much attention has been devoted to the fiscal, legal and administrative impediments to successful economic transition in that country. Additionally, because developmental economic activity has been narrowly defined to only include formal activity, informal economies (often labelled ‘grey’ or ‘shadow’) were increasingly seen to be holding back the transition process. Because it is considered to be important to the informal economy, the ‘culture of corruption’ has attracted interest both domestically and internationally as the bête noir of political integrity, economic justice and progress, including in a comprehensive analysis by Transparency International (2007). This chapter brings together two elements, the structural and the cultural, to focus attention on the relationship between corruption and the constitutional arrangements based on the Dayton Accords. In order to limit the terrain to be covered, a narrow, political definition of corruption is followed: the abuse of public position for personal or factional gain. A broader definition would encompass business corruption, at which accumulators and investors of capital in the core locations of global capitalism have been observed to excel.1