Corruption, Crisis, and Change: Use and Misuse of an Empty Signifier

  • Oksana Huss


Applying the post-structuralist approach to corruption, the aim of this chapter is twofold: First, this chapter explores, how the Presidents of Ukraine—Viktor Yushchenko in 2005–2010 and Viktor Yanukovych in 2010–2014—use an empty signifier of corruption, and second, what role the term “corruption” plays for both, political crisis and political change in Ukraine. Accordingly, the main question is: What meaning do the Presidents of Ukraine assign to corruption as an empty signifier and to what extent this temporarily fixed meaning unfolds potential to create social identities? The main challenge the Presidents face with this respect is creating a dominant public discourse and framing corruption in a way that represents themselves as “non-corrupt Self” and their competitors as “corrupt Others”.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oksana Huss
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Development and PeaceUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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