Fighting Corruption during Transformations in Poland: Determinants and Changes in Perception of Government Effectiveness

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:30
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Ilona WYSMULEK, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
This paper analyses the perception of corruption level in Poland and public opinion on the effectiveness of government in fighting corruption, by using the longitudinal survey data (1988-2013). Corruption level is the subject of influence of global trends, such as changing economic conditions and particular socio-political context. However, not only corruption experience, but also perception of corruption in country are shaping development of a country. Being one of the most sensitive issues in public debate and important point of reference in political campaigns in post-socialist countries, fighting corruption level is the process accompanied with many hopes and expectations.

Poland, as the biggest Central-Eastern European country which has gone through the number of political, social and economic changes is a particularly interesting case for analysis. Rapid GDP growth, as well as the overall improvement on measures of democratization (ex. Freedom Houses), measures of quality of life and access to knowledge (ex. Human Development Index) - present Polish transformation as a story of success. How does it relate to the level of satisfaction of citizen with their government and evaluation of the effectiveness of its policies?

First, I present in the paper the prospective and retrospective evaluations of corruption level in Poland in the eyes of Polish citizens. Second, I highlight the dynamics of change in evaluation of the government in fighting corruption. Third, I investigate the characteristics of the group that is not satisfied with the current government effectiveness in fighting corruption, with the special attention to the relation of corruption and political trust. My analysis are mainly based on the Polish Panel Survey, but also use data from Life in Transition survey for comparing post-socialist countries.

The paper is a part of the project “Polish Panel Survey 1988-2003: Social Structure and Mobility”, financed by the Polish National Science Centre (UMO-2011/02/A/HS6/00238).