Academic journal article European Research Studies

The Ability of Civil Society to Act against Corruption

Academic journal article European Research Studies

The Ability of Civil Society to Act against Corruption

Article excerpt

Introduction

The social danger of corruption is that, first of all, it affects all the segments of the society and comes up with ethical justification both from those who trade influence and those who tend to regulate social relations without being subject to law. Thus, Saratov Center for organized crime and corruption research conducted a survey of students in Saratov and Samara in 2008--2010. Replying to the question "Is corruption always an absolute evil for society?" in 2010 47.2% of respondents chose the following answer: "corruption is a negative phenomenon but it can bring benefits to a particular subject". In 2008 the same answer chose 29% of respondents. In 2008 47% believed that corruption challenged the very foundation of society, abused the rights and freedoms of citizens. In 2010 only 37.9% chose this answer (Lapunin, 2010). The results of the study demonstrate tolerant attitude of one of the most active social groups, young adults, to corruption, and the threshold of tolerance is becoming lower. Criminological environment does not inspire optimism among the scientists who have to acknowledge that corruption is an inevitable integral and even necessary part of our life (Golik, 2003).

Secondly, corruption produces other crimes. For this reason, corruption is called a foundation of crimes. For the time being, we can say that forms of corruptive behavior as a national scale phenomenon on the state level have been recognized though with a significant delay. Thus, in paragraph 1 of the National strategy to combat corruption adopted by Presidential Decree No. 460 of April 13, 2010, it is emphasized that "corruption still discourages smooth functioning of all social mechanisms, preventing social transformations and modernization of national economy; it generates serious concern and mistrust in the Russian society to state institutions, creates a negative image of Russia in the international scene, and rightfully is considered as one of the security threats in the Russian Federation" (hereinafter we use normative legal acts form the legal system "Consultant Plus").

Traditionally, corruption combating (law enforcement) is regarded as an exceptionally governmental task. Civil society is left within the "civil" sphere. Specificity of forms of corruption shows that without participation of civil society this problem cannot be solved. Corruption in modern Russian society is not only the face of the crisis but also the embodiment of the "vicious circle" which is impossible to break without participation of civil institutions. For scientists it has been clear for a long time. "We need to gain understanding and to attract support of the population in implementing state policy for combating crimes in general and their most dangerous forms. Today, when civil society and authorities exist as though in parallel worlds, it is a hard task", thinks professor L.I. Romanova (2003).

Approved National strategy to combat corruption put on the first place "to provide participation of the civil society institutions in corruption combating" (subparagraph 'a', paragraph 8, section IV). This concept alongside the National strategy to combat corruption for 2014-2015 adopted by Presidential Decree No. 226 of April 1, 2014 suggest many measures concerning fostering public awareness and participation of population in corruption combating. We should note that these documents are not 'state' but 'national' which shows the efforts of authorities to act in consolidation with civil society.

Methods

Technical, comparative legal, method of synthesis and analyses, systemic, sociological (surveys in the form of interviews and questionnaires), statistical, technical, comparative legal, and historical methods enable us to explore current and previous criminal and other types of legislation in terms of corruption combating; identify regularities and tendencies in its condition and development in dynamics. …

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