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Über dieses Buch

This volume examines corruption and provides tools and that can be utilized to combat it and encourage development. Using Romania as a case study, the authors argue that corruption can be reduced via institutional reforms and effective civic education. Describing various causes and types of corruption, the authors explore the causes and influences that result in corruption and the current political and bureaucratic practices that inhibit social, political or economic reform.

The nations of Europe, including Romania, have different civil traditions varying in their intensity, cultural heritage, scope of activity, religious or non-religious affiliation, among other factors. Western Europe has experienced over a century of modern government involvement crowding out the efforts of traditional civil society, while Romania, along with the other Eastern nations of the former Soviet bloc, experienced almost a half-century of systematic efforts by communist regimes to eradicate and control all spheres of voluntary, nongovernmental civil life. Moreover, the inexperience and immaturity of Romanian society in the early transition period after communism, particularly its so-called “entrepreneurial class,” have discredited and abused the concept of civil society, utilizing it solely for tax benefits and selfish purposes. Having had to learn the hard way about some of the key aspects of public administration often taken for granted in other countries more experienced in democratic participation, Romania has most recently made significant progress toward overcoming corruption and implementing reforms and policies that will allow it to participate more fully in the global arena.



Chapter 1. Corruption, the Unfinished Business of Europeanization in Romania

I shall begin this chapter with a brief analysis of corruption along with some general considerations that must be taken into account for future reform initiatives. This analysis was excellently done by Lucica Matei in her 2010 book, Public Administration in the Balkans—from Weberian bureaucracy to New Public Management. My analysis was also aided by the 2009 thesis, Corruption, an institutional approach. For an excellent and profound understanding along with case studies and examples, I highly recommend the above-mentioned works. Many authors and international publications point to the fact that Romania is one of the laggards in corruption reform in Europe (Frederick, 2008; Interior Minister Report, 2007; Lăzărescu, 2007; Negrescu, 1999; Pasti, 2004, 2006; Precupeţu, 2007; Ristei, 2010; Vachudova, 2009). The World Bank data, comparing Romania with its Central and Eastern European counterparts, ranks it at the bottom in all indicators, especially “Rule of Law” and “Control of Corruption” (World Bank & Kaufmann Report, 2006). Even if anticorruption initiatives have had a positive and significant impact, corruption still persists in the Romanian society in general and its public administration in particular.
Sebastian Văduva

Chapter 2. The Future of Public Administration Reform in Romania

The process of Europeanizing Romania is advanced and has had positive and visible results such as the growth in GDP per capita, the presence of multinational corporations, significant progress in infrastructure, and the development of public administration. In all fairness, even if there are shortcomings and aspects that require improvement, significant progress has been made on varying fronts. This Europeanization process, as analyzed in the previous chapters, has had a significant impact on the public administration of Romania. The legal framework is in place along with the Commissions’ monitoring reports verifying the progress of the nation and the adoption of the European public administrative space.
Sebastian Văduva

Chapter 3. The Business Civil Society and its Impact on Romanian Public Administration

The reform initiatives of the past two decades in Romania are praiseworthy, and the incontestable fact is that the state of the economy and the government is significantly better now than at the dawn of the 1989 Revolution. The Europeanization of the public administration is partially successful, especially in the capital city and a few other urban centers. There are a number of ongoing, successful public administration reform initiatives throughout the country, some of which I have outlined in previous chapters. This continuous work is vitally important and necessary to improve customer/citizen services, agency design, increase efficiency, and modernize the Romanian public administration. In the concluding chapter of this volume, I would like to attempt a modest theoretical contribution to the Romanian public administration reform dialogue, not from a traditionalist bureaucratic perspective but rather from a libertarian, free-market, somewhat postmodern public administration theory. My conceptual approach will be that current traditional public administration reform initiatives ought to be complemented by the revitalization of the civil society, individual responsibilities, and voluntary initiatives.
Sebastian Văduva


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