Strike up a conversation with a citizen from the post-communist region and invariably the talk will turn to the topic of corruption - the misuse of public power for private gain. People are sure that corruption is widespread, whether from their own experiences or stories they have heard from others. They feel frustrated that there seems to be nothing they can do about it, that they are helpless, and that they are being played for fools. And many are cynical: they feel that they, too, have to play the game because the system compels them to do so. But what system exactly? What are the structures and mechanisms of corruption in post-communist societies? The System Made Me Do It is the first comprehensive study of the origin, nature, and consequences of corruption in post-communist societies. While international actors decry corruption as a major impediment to democracy building and economic development, the problem is not well understood. This book fills that gap, and suggests innovative and practical institutional strategies for containing corruption. It achieves a rare and perfect balance of disciplined analysis, practicality, and passion.