Accepted paper:

The threat of "corruptions": kinship versus friendship in the Czech NGO sector


Hana Synkova (University of Pardubice)

Paper short abstract:

While kinship and friendship links tend to be defined as private networks that threaten to “corrupt” organizations, there is high acceptance of friendship links and frequent condemnation of “family business”. The paper describes class and ethnic (Czech/Romani) dynamics of this difference.

Paper long abstract:

In my paper I present the everyday practices of a Romani NGO, where the reality of "family business" is on the one hand celebrated as a specific intimate feature of organizational culture and on the other hand hid, as it presents problems for legitimacy of the NGO. Both real and fake mediatised accusations of misuse of funding by Romani organizations only aggravate the problematic character of kinship links. While family appears as the illegitimate model of NGO functioning (and one disappearing with processes of professionalization), the large friendship networks around mainstream organizations do not seem to be challenged. Paradoxically friendship networks can deliver similar degree of intimacy and trust between the close ones and at the same time their bigger flexibility and middle class character offers more professional opportunities to their members. The fact of using this specific type of intimate networking thus allows the members to avoid moral condemnation and labelling.

panel P009
The intimacy of corruption as a conundrum of governance: secrecy vs inflated rhetoric