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In his interview with CIPE, President of the Russian INDEM Foundation Georgi Satarov discusses the current state of corruption in Russia and some of the strategies that INDEM has undertaken to combat this important problem. Instead of considering corruption to be solely a criminal problem, INDEM focuses on the underlying institutional causes of corrupt behavior in both the public and private sectors. The most distinctive features of the Russian case are noticeably high rates of “low-level corruption” and “business capture,” in which government officials gain control of businesses by manipulating weak safeguards for private property.
Although many Russians feel that corruption is an unavoidable part of everyday life, it would be a mistake to call it an endemic characteristic of Russian society. INDEM works with local and federal government officials, business owners, and ordinary citizens to devise working strategies to strike corruption at its roots. Political and economic institutions in Russia need to be reformed and built, not simply imported from other countries, so that they are no longer a breeding ground for corrupt practices.Read more...
In the past, the international community’s efforts to combat corruption have largely focused on promoting regulatory frameworks or codes; and while public integrity requires a set of explicit rules, complex regulations alone do not reduce corrupt practices. In some places, democratic reform must precede anti-corruption efforts, as democracies are generally more successful in developing the political will to combat corruption by creating three conditions: inter-party competition in the form of free and fair elections, legitimacy, and diffusion of political power. The emphasis on political competition is crucial, however only with proper reforms political parties can assume their rightful role as an integral part of the anti-corruption solution.Read more...
Corruption remains the primary threat to the consolidation of democracy in developing countries. In order for citizens to embrace democracy and its ideals, the system must provide equal opportunities for everyone to participate in the political and economic process. However, corruption distorts those opportunities and disenfranchises citizens politically and economically. From the business perspective, corruption weakens markets, reduces competitiveness, diverts investments, and increases economic uncertainty.Read more...
The 1990s in Serbia were marked by war, uncertainty, and illegal rentseeking. Those who took advantage of the system profited, and thus supported the status quo of Slobodan Milošević’s regime. However, once Milošević was removed from office, the outward veneer of stability in Serbia crumbled and citizens were forced to face the legacy that Milošević had left behind. Initially, the influence of Milošević’s allies was stymied and reform proceeded at a rapid pace, with positive results.Read more...
Globalization has redefined the global system, as the old concept of First World, Second World, and Third World is no longer valid. New players have joined the global economy and will have significant influence on how it will develop in the coming years. From the business perspective, globalization is not about analyzing pros and cons, but about understanding its impact and properly responding to it. This response should be thought of as a rules-based system that is currently under construction. Development of these rules should not be left to governments – business has to be at the table where the decisions are made. If it fails to do so, the business community will end up living in a system of rules that it never built, but was created by someone else. And this is true for businesses regardless of industry or location, as the need to actively participate in the development of an international system of rules applies equally to businesses from developed and developing countries. In the end, for the private sector, globalization is about creating a business-friendly environment, both on a local level and globally.Read more...
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