English title: ‘I Don't Bribe, I Just Pull Strings’: Assessing the Fluidity of Social Representations of Corruption in Portuguese Society

Author(s): Luís De Sousa -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


Portugal has often been considered as a case of successful democratic consolidation; and in fact the same ethical standards underpin democratic government and the rule of law – equality, transparency, accountability, impartiality, legality and integrity – as are found in most other mature Western European democracies. However, there is something singular about the Portuguese case that may be of interest to scholars of other southern European countries and the consolidating democracies of Eastern Europe: The coexistence of modern/rational and pre-modern/family-based relations between citizens and the public administration. This means that corruption in Portugal is not only about bribery but also about a series of other practices and conducts – ones in which the exchange of money for decisions is neither clear-cut nor automatic. Drawing on European and national survey data, this paper sets out to demonstrate that beneath the apparently consensual condemnation of corruption at a symbolic level, citizens tolerate it, by engaging in small influence peddling, in their daily relationships with the public administration.

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

From page no: 8

To page no: 23

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1080/15705850701825402

Journal: Perspectives on European Politics and Society

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