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NCJ Number: 63695 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICAL CORRUPTION IN THE USSR (UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS)
Journal: WESTERN POLITICAL QUARTERLY  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(JUNE 1977)  Pages:213-224
Author(s): J M KRAMER
Corporate Author: University of Utah
Institute of Government
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ANALYSIS EXAMINES THE SCOPE, INCENTIVES, AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR POLITICAL CORRUPTION IN THE SOVIET UNION AS WELL AS EFFORTS TO COMBAT ILLEGAL ACTS.
Abstract: MOST CORRUPTION IN THE SOVIET UNION FALLS WITHIN TWO BROAD CATEGORIES: (1) CORRUPTION FOR BUREAUCRATIC GAIN AND (2) CORRUPTION FOR PRIVATE GAIN. THE MOST COMMON FORMS OF CORRUPTION FOR PRIVATE GAIN--BRIBERY, EMBEZZLEMENT, AND SPECULATION--ARE WIDESPREAD ACCORDING TO SOVIET MEDIA REPORTS. IN 1970, A SOVIET CRIMINOLOGIST REPORTED THAT ECONOMIC CRIMES ACCOUNTED FOR ALMOST ONE-QUARTER OF ALL CRIME IN THE COUNTRY, WITH THESE SCANDALS PARTICULARLY PREVALENT IN THE GEORGIAN REPUBLIC. EXAMPLES OF CORRUPTION IN THE HOUSING SECTOR ILLUSTRATE THE TENDENCY OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS TO USE ILLEGAL MEANS TO ACQUIRE HOUSING IN A NATION WITH A SERIOUS SHORTAGE. WIDESPREAD SHORTAGES OF CONSUMER GOODS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO CORRUPTION FOR PRIVATE GAIN, AS WELL AS THE FIERCELY COMPETITIVE ADMISSION STANDARDS AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION. CORRUPTION FOR BUREAUCRATIC GAIN USUALLY MANIFESTS ITSELF IN SOVIET PRODUCTION UNITS AS THE USE OF ILLEGAL INFLUENCE AND THE FALSE REPORTING OF ENTERPRISE DATA. BECAUSE SOVIET INDUSTRY IS PLAGUED BY THE FREQUENTLY ERRATIC FLOW OF SUPPLIES TO ENTERPRISES, PRODUCTION PERSONNEL OFTEN EMPLOY ILLEGAL MEANS TO FULFILL THE PLAN FOR THEIR ENTERPRISE, SUCH AS 'BLAT' (THE USE OF PERSONAL INFLUENCE TO OBTAIN CERTAIN FAVORS TO WHICH PRODUCTION UNITS ARE NOT LEGALLY ENTITLED). THE PREMIER PRACTITIONER OF BLAT IS THE 'TOLKACH,' THE PLANT'S REPRESENTATIVE WHO OFTEN RESORTS TO ILLEGAL INDUCEMENTS TO OBTAIN NEEDED SUPPLIES. ALTHOUGH THE SOVIETS' ANTICORRUPTION CAMPAIGN REFLECTS THE REGIME'S CONCERN ABOUT THE PREVALENCE OF CORRUPTION, IT HAS BEEN LARGELY UNSUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THE SYSTEM OF BLAT AND THE SERVICES OF THE TOLKACHI APPEAR TO BE FIRMLY IMBEDDED IN SOVIET LIFE. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Bribery; Corruption of public officials; Crime specific countermeasures; Graft; Political influences; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); White collar crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63695

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