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Report: Corruption weakens support for democracy in Eastern Europe

Corruption has shaken Eastern Europe’s faith in democracy, according to the German Economic Institute think tank.
The report states that general support for democracy increases the longer that people live under such a system. However, their latest study shows that support for democracy has fallen in former communist countries in Eastern Europe where it has actually fallen since 2006, largely due to corruption.

Researchers revealed that the level of corruption had almost doubled during the same measured period.

The report states: “The increased experiences of corruption in these states undermine the support for democracy… only in the absence of corruption can the experience of democracy have its full effect on pro-democratic attitudes.”




Researchers conclude that “higher democratic capital increases support for democracy”, however, they say the hypothesis hasn’t proven true in the case of Eastern European countries.

“Every additional year of living in a democracy lowers in eastern European countries the support for democracy as a form of governance by 0.5 percentage points,” the report says.

“This result seems counterintuitive at first, but points to the fact that the quality of democracy and other institutions may play a key role in determining the support for democracy. Hence, we estimate which includes the experience of corruption as an explanatory variable. And the results show that dissemination of corruption indeed undermines the support for democracy,” they add.

Researchers concluded that Eastern European countries must improve the quality of their democratic institutions “otherwise, all the hard-fought accomplishments could easily dwindle again.”

“Tackling corruption is one of the major steps in this direction,” the institute concluded.

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