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Grießhaber, N., Geys, B. (2010). Civic Engagement and Corruption in 20 European Democracies: Separating the Bright from the Dark Side? Unpublished

This paper analyses the effect of different forms of civic engagement on corruption. As such, it makes two key contributions to the literature. First, it extends earlier analysis linking generalized trust to corruption by incorporating another element from the social capital complex (namely, formal forms of civic engagement – such as involvement in voluntary organizations) into the analysis. Second, based on the idea that social networks’ beneficial or harmful impact of may depend on their characteristics, we also evaluate how the structure of social networks (i.e. inclusive vs. exclusive and isolated  vs. connected) matters. We evaluate our hypotheses in an analysis of the engagement—corruption nexus for a cross-section of 20 European democracies in 2002/2003. Our results confirm that social networks affect corruption even when controlling for the effect of generalized trust, and that their effects are type-specific. These findings survive under various model specifications and multiple robustness checks.


Griesshaber. Nicolas

Geys, Benny

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