Oligarchs and Corruption in Putin's Russia: Of Sand Castles and Geopolitical Volunteering
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (Summer/Fall 2017)
8 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2017 Last revised: 2 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2017
The article analyzes Russia's elite corruption from domestic and international perspectives. While corrupt proceeds make Russian elites invested in the political system, corruption also acts as a destabilizing force in Russia. I argue that corruption is a double-edged sword for the oligarchs and the Kremlin alike. As a competitive kleptocracy in which corrupt elites have the option of international exit via offshores, Russia currently lacks any clear "top-down" path towards the rule of law. Furthermore, the country's elite corruption presents political problems for the West. The article concludes with some policy recommendations.
Keywords: Putin, Russia, corruption, oligarchs, post-communist transition, offshores, agent predation, state-building
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