Anti-Corruption Attitudes in Post-Communist Slovakia

“Hellfire and Deviance” or Political Socialization?

Keywords: Slovakia, Corruption, Public Opinion, Religion, Political Socialization


The literature on corruption-related attitudes tends to focus on developing countries, test rational-choice theories, overlook religious influences, and neglect post-Communist but developed nations such as Slovakia. Academically, this article aims to test the validity of the “Hellfire and Deviance” and political-socialization theories of attitudes toward bribery by performing multivariate, Logistic regression analysis of the Slovak subsample of the 2022 World Values Survey. In particular, this study intends to find out whether: 1. an increase in belief in the afterlife drives opposition to bribery and 2. more frequent church attendance reduces support for bribery. This article finds that tolerance of bribery decreases with belief in the afterlife. Religious attendance also reduces pro-bribery views, but only among elderly Slovaks who grew up under Communism. Affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church or another Christian denomination seems to dampen enthusiasm for corruption indirectly by boosting church attendance and belief in the hereafter. Overall, these results strongly support the first theory and weakly confirm the second. The findings suggest that religion holds promise as a way to combat the scourge of political corruption in post-Communist, democratic Slovakia.


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How to Cite
Fetzer, J. (2023) “Anti-Corruption Attitudes in Post-Communist Slovakia”, Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 23(1), pp. 5-26. doi: