chapter  5
16 Pages

Corruption, trust, and the danger to democratization in the Former Soviet Union

ByDonald Bowser

This chapter examines the underlying reasons for corruption within the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and its impact on the process of democratization. It proposes the FSU is taken as encompassing the region of post-Soviet countries excluding the Baltic States, which have dramatically different standards of governance. The chapter argues that corruption creates further barriers to the dual transition to a liberal democracy and market economy. It discusses the key concept is 'social capital', and especially its acquisition and use. Social capital has had many definitions, but Francis Fukuyama's seems most useful here. Francis Fukuyama has described social capital as 'an instantiated informal norm that promotes cooperation between two or more individuals'. The idea of trust or 'social capital' as an important glue holding society together is a relatively new concept in the field of Sovietology or post-Sovietology. The chapter emphasises on national anti-corruption programs in the region are an important step in the right direction.