Selecting the Chair of the Whistleblower Protection Office in Slovakia: “Fight Against Corruption” as the Last (and Only) Public Interest?

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Based on an analysis of public hearings organised to select the Chair of the Office for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Slovakia, this study asks how the notions of “public interest” and “anti-social activity” have been interpreted and re-enacted, and what role the topic of corruption played in this process. The analysis reveals the tension between a narrow understanding of anti-social activity as corruption and its wider interpretation, which encompasses a broader notion of public interest. In fact, the hearing stimulated an exploration of larger ethico-political questions related to the role of the state in the protection of “the social”. Therefore, this article argues that the organisation of the hearing, and specifically its public dialogical character, led to a shift away from the strict anti-corruption framing of whistleblowing. Second, the article contributes to the theoretical debate on whistleblowing by emphasising the so far rather neglected institutional and relational elements.

Klíčová slova:
anti-social activity, East-Central Europe, ethics, corruption, framing, public interest, whistleblowing

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