The specifics of the evolution of the concept of political corruption in Western and Russian political and legal discourse

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Authors: Alina Shenfeldt, Stanislav Sheverdyaev

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2019-5-90-112

Keywords: constitutional law; neopatrimonialism; political corruption; political reform; the concept of corruption


Corruption is a convenient topic for various generalizations about the quality of public institutions. Western, mainly American, political science for decades successfully explains the political processes in different countries, based on the analysis of corruption practices. Modern legal science is actively looking for the new ways to implement this knowledge in legislation and law enforcement. These attempts are not always successful and often very localized, but the process is irreversible. Currently, Russia has a favorable environment for the formation of a consistent legal view on this issue. This became possible due to the current Russian administrative reforms, when the need for a highly professional bureaucracy led to an increase in demand for various anti-corruption mechanisms. The next possible step may be an attempt to develop proven mechanisms of the anti-corruption legislation to improve the political institutions. This article provides a brief overview of the evolution of the concept of political corruption in the Western and Russian political and legal discourse. These observations help to understand that political and legal sciences, both in Russia and abroad, are on the way of increasing convergence in the search for constructive systemic solutions. At the same time, the authors do not attempt to establish an exhaustive set of criteria for the inclusion of existing anti-corruption institutions in the sphere of the constitutional law, or to predetermine the limits of immersion of constitutional and legal science in anti-corruption material. The main objective of the article is to characterize some of the main reference points of the modern international and Russian debates on corruption as a complex social problem. This is not yet a unified cross-sectoral discussion with a common structure, canons and vocabulary. But this is a discussion focused on the corruption in a political system, in the field of responsibility of the constitutional law. Therefore, today it is important to bring forth the starting point from which our science could begin to form the systemic foundations of the consistent development of this potentially fruitful problem.

Abour the authors:

Stanislav Sheverdyaev - Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Associate Professor, Executive Supervisor of the Research and Education Centre on constitutionalism and municipal governance, Law Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; Alina Shenfeldt - Analyst of Laboratory for Anti-Corruption, Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Sheverdyaev S., Shenfeldt A. (2019) Osobennosti stanovleniya problemy politicheskoy korruptsii v kachestve temy politiko-pravovoy nauchnoy diskussii [The specifics of evolution of the concept of political corruption in Western and Russian political and legal discourse]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.28, no.5, pp.90–112. (In Russian).


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