This contribution will explore legal norms and cultural values that underpin corruptive practices in the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) public employment system. It will highlight pervasive importance of material issue in public and private discourses about corruption and how the latter is entrenched in rhetoric and practices of public and individual indebtedness.
Data presented in this contribution draw from a prolonged fieldwork in the Sarajevo area, where the public discourse about corruption and anti corruption has been analysed through the local media (newspapers, magazines, TV talk shows). It has also been explored through interviews to representative of the local anticorruption organizations. Research activity has been also aimed at collecting policy papers and legal documents about the system of public employment and its reform urged by the controversial anticorruption reform and sponsored by international institutions. Notwithstanding this, the core of this contribution lays in the ethnographic data coming from interviews to representatives of the local institutions. Privileged interlocutors have been public officials working in municipalities of Sarajevo and East Sarajevo, where both individual interviews and focus group have been carried out. Field activity has not been limited by ethnical differences that are supposed to distinguish the two cities divided by the IEBL (Interentity boundary line). This particular approach has been particularly useful to highlight a corruptive system in the public employment that goes beyond the ethnic issue.