Legal Culture, Corruption and Law Enforcement: The Russian Case

The project aims to provide a "thick description" of Russian legal culture - incl. local understandings of the term corruption - and its impact on law-enforcement in Russia.

Corruption has been singled out as the major challenge to the rule of law and socio-economic development in Russia - including by both Presidents Medvedev and Putin. Quite a lot is known about public perceptions of corruption, formal and informal mechanisms facilitating corruption, sector-specific corruption, the views of the ruling elites on the problem of corruption, and Russian anti-corruption strategies. We know much less about contemporary Russian legal culture; local notions of what does and does not constitute corruption; and the interplay between legal culture, corruption and law-enforcement.

The project aims to fill this gap by providing a "thick description" of Russian legal culture - incl. local understandings of the term corruption - and its impact on law-enforcement in Russia. This will be done by mapping the perceptions, attitudes, expectations and personal experiences of legal outsiders & insiders on: (1) law; (2) the role of law - incl. rule of law; (3) legal transfers; (4) legal outsiders; (5) legal insiders; (6) the concept of corruption; (7) trust; (8) law enforcement - incl. expectations of it; and (9) the manner in which law-enforcement deals with corruption.
Large-scale qualitative & quantitative data will be collected throughout Russia: in wealthy & poor areas, urban and rural areas within each one of them; and in Muslim & non-Muslim areas - by means of focus groups, a nationally representative survey & Muslim booster, and structured & open-ended elite in-depth interviews.
Partial qualitative and quantitative data on (1)-(5) will be compared with same-type data already collected in several West and East European countries with a view to placing Russian legal culture in a broader, European context.
Project data will be utilised both for academic purposes and policy prescription. Key project findings will be actively communicated to Norwegian, Russian & European policy makers throughout the project period.

Researchers

Project period

  • Start:
    January 2013
  • End:
    October 2016

Commissioned by

  • The Research Council of Norway

Partners

  • Institute for Applied Politics
  • Levada
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Maryland