Since independence, Ukraine and the international community have spent, allegedly with little results, a substantial amount of resources trying to reduce the role of informal practices, and corruption, in a variety of sectors. This essay proposes several reasons behind the failure of these measures and their incapacity to bring about a substantial change. First, the use of an excessively comprehensive definition of corruption has prompted domestic and international actors to concentrate their efforts on fighting a too vast variety of practices, resulting in excessive spreading of resources. Second, there has been limited attention to the issue of state trust and the possibility that informal practices are a way to bypass a state in which few believe or are willing to take into account for their daily life. Finally, domestic and international interventions have tended to take for granted certain mechanisms and institutions that, failing to consolidate, have not been able to support reforms the way they were intended to be.
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