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Civic engagement and corruption in 20 European democracies


  • Grießhaber, Nicolas
  • Geys, Benny


This paper analyzes the relation between different forms of civic engagement and corruption. This first of all extends earlier analysis linking generalized trust to corruption by incorporating another element from the social capital complex (namely formal forms of civic engagement). Second, based on the idea that social networks' beneficial or harmful impact may depend on their characteristics, it investigates how the structure of social networks (i.e., inclusive vs. exclusive and isolated vs. connected) matters. Evaluating the engagement - corruption nexus for a cross-section of 20 European democracies in 2002/2003, we confirm that social networks are linked to corruption even when controlling for the effect of generalized trust, and that their relation to corruption is typespecific. These findings survive under various model specifications and robustness checks.

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  • Grießhaber, Nicolas & Geys, Benny, 2011. "Civic engagement and corruption in 20 European democracies," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-103, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbfff:spii2011103

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Juan C. Correa & Klaus Jaffe, 2015. "Corruption and Wealth: Unveiling a national prosperity syndrome in Europe," Papers 1604.00283,

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    Corruption; civil society; networks; voluntary associations; European social survey;

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