In Ronald King and Paul Sum (eds.), Romania under Băsescu: Aspirations, Achievements, and Frustrations during his First Presidential Term. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011, pp. 221-239.
Romania not only has one of the lowest levels of civic and political participation in the EU and one of the lowest levels of political and social trust, it is also the country with the highest scores on most measures of corruption. I argue that these facts are not independent, not the outcome of coincidence, and not the result of spurious inferences due to a common exogenous influence. On the contrary, simultaneous placement on the lowest ranks results from a series of mutually reinforcing causal linkages. Moreover, it is not only large-scale and political corruption that can have negative consequences upon political culture. The claim in this chapter is that small-scale corruption in the civic domain matters as well, impeding not only social and economic development but contributing to the slow pace of democratization by eroding some of the norms and attitudes that make democracy work. The focus of this chapter is small-scale corruption in education, which can have lasting effects on trust and other core democratic values.