While much is known about corruption in post-communist states, less is known about the impact of conflict on corruption in such states. The proposed project seeks to fill this void. Large-scale qualitative (in-depth interviews) and quantitative (quota-ba sed) surveys in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia will investigate the perceptions of and personal experiences of the following nine categories of elites with informal practices in general and the use of contacts and informal networks in particul ar: (1) elected representatives; (2) political party representatives; (3) public procurement officials; (4) representatives of organisations and institutions engaged in reconstruction; (5) representatives of local business; (6) representatives of foreign business; (7) judges and prosecutors; (8) media representatives; and (9) NGO representatives.
Data generated as part of the project will allow us to (a) investigate the link between informal practices and corruption in the West Balkans; (b) establish how this link manifests itself in post-conflict reconstruction, public procurement, political party funding, lobbying and the judiciary; (c) assess the impact of national culture, history, communism and transition; and (d) conflict, on informal practices. Besides, comparing data from the West Balkans with data generated from an ongoing NIBR-based international research project on informal relations and corruption in East Central and South East Europe will allow us to put findings from the former in a bro ader geographical, historical and political context. The project will also strengthen Argument, Prism Research and Pro Media's capacity to analyse large qualitative data sets and prepare policy briefs as training in both is built into the project. Proje ct findings will not only be presented in peer-reviewed academic journals and at academic conferences but will also be utilised for policy-prescription.