Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption
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Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption

Edited by Barney Warf

The Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption offers a comprehensive overview of how corruption varies across the globe. It explores the immense range of corruption among countries, and how this reflects levels of wealth, the centralization of power, colonial legacies, and different national cultures. Barney Warf presents an original and interdisciplinary collection of chapters from established researchers and leading academics that examine corruption from a spatial perspective.
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Chapter 12: Corruption in Russia

Günther G. Schulze and Nikita Zakharov

Abstract

Russian corruption is the focus of this chapter, where the authors put forth an intriguing argument: the state holds wages artificially low, and in return officials reap the benefits of kickbacks and embezzlement, which cements their political loyalties. Unlike democracies, corruption in autocratic states may help to promote stability. They hold that this state of affairs is the path-dependent result of a long historical trajectory that finds its origins during the Mongol occupation in the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. This so-called kormlenie system of systemic corruption persisted after the Bolshevik revolution, all throughout the seven decades of the USSR, and into the current kleptocracy under Putin. The authors conclude by looking at strategies to rein in corruption, including higher salaries and legislative initiatives.

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