This paper is focused on the issue of corruption perception in the Czech Republic. After introducing the general framework for corruption perception in post-communist countries, this paper uses the Czech Republic as an example of the ways in which corruption is perceived, the areas Czech citizens feel are most plagued by corruption, and the ways in which corruption perception has transformed in terms of post-communist developments. This paper points out the differences in corruption perception among Czech citizens, the media and political parties and their representatives. The conclusion of the paper attempts to answer the question of how corruption perception has affected the overall perception of the democratic regime in the Czech Republic. It also asks questions regarding how this has influenced the evaluation of democracy and the relationship between Czech citizens and political institutions, including individual political parties.
Corruption is a phenomenon with significant effects – economically, politically and culturally. Corruption tends to be viewed negatively by the public. As such, anti-corruption rhetoric may be an ideal election strategy for individual political parties. Nevertheless, anti-corruption rhetoric does not necessarily translate into an actual anti-corruption policy. This study analyses the impact of anti-corruption rhetoric that does not reflect the actual practices of its speaker and has been used strategically to gain favour. My focus is on elections and the subsequent formation and exercise of government in the Czech Republic. I analyse how anti-corruption rhetoric directed at political opponents works as an election success strategy. At the same time, I show how electoral success, transformed into real political power, strengthens the ability of actors to engage in activities that amount to borderline or outright corruption, irrespective of any anti-corruption rhetoric.
This paper is a contribution to the academic debate on populism and Islamophobia in contemporary Europe. Its goal is to analyze Czech President Miloš Zeman’s strategy in using the term “security” in his first term of office. Methodologically speaking, the text is established as a computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) of a data set created from all of Zeman’s speeches, interviews, statements, and so on, which were processed using MAXQDA11+. This paper shows that the dominant treatment of the phenomenon of security expressed by the President is primarily linked to the creation of the vision of Islam and immigration as the absolute largest threat to contemporary Europe. Another important finding lies in the fact that Zeman instrumentally utilizes rhetoric such as “not Russia, but Islam”, which stems from Zeman’s relationship to Putin’s authoritarian regime. Zeman’s conceptualization of Islam and migration follows the typical principles of contemporary right-wing populism in Europe.