Could Corruption be Good for Russia?

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Baev, Pavel K. (2006) Could Corruption be Good for Russia?, Eurasia Daily Monitor. 13 November.

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The new Corruption Perception Index, published by Transparency International last week, put Russia in 121st place together with nine other states, including the Philippines and Rwanda. Many of the apparent distortions in the present-day economic policy are driven by the “strategic” plan for postponing this moment of truth beyond the delicate phase of power transfer from Putin to his yet-unknown successor. That makes a perfect recipe for building a critical mass of concentrated protest, so some of Putin’s lieutenants have begun to draft plans for crisis management. China provides them a perfect model of how the anger against corruption can be channeled toward compromising the competing power clans and purging the over-crowded political arena. Corruption might have helped the cumbersome Russian state to function reasonably smoothly, but it has acquired a new quality that may make the state simply dysfunctional -- and Russia has a bad record of rescuing itself from such exigencies.

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