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Crime as a Cultural Problem. The Relevance of Perceptions of Corruption to Crime Prevention. A Comparative Cultural Study in the EU-Accession States, the EU-Candidate States and in the EU-States D, GR and UK


The study aims to develop means to optimise corruption prevention in the EU. The urgency of such a project is reflected in the fact that corruption holds the potential to retard seriously the process of the Community's enlargement and integration, even to the extent of threatening the very core of its concept of social order. The prevention policies that have been developed by the EU and implemented so far within individual member countries have in general been characterised by legislative, administrative and police force measures. These are based on a definition of corruption prevention developed in political and administrative institutions that, for its implementation, rely on a 'top-down' procedure.

The project purports to conduct not an inquiry into the nature of corruption 'as such', but rather into the 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 in European societies. The project proceeds from the assumption that the considerably varying perceptions of corruption, determined as they are by 'cultural dispositions', have significant influence on a country's 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 policies and how these are perceived in 'daily practice', as well as how EU candidate countries and EU member countries as a result handle the issue of corruption. In a final step, we intend to make specific recommendations for readjusting this 'fit' and to investigate which role the media play within this process in each individual country.

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Participants (8)