Democratization and Corruption

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Democratization is the transition to a more democratic political system. It may be the transition from an authoritarian regime to a full democracy, a transition from an authoritarian political system to a semi-democracy or transition from a semi-authoritarian political system to a democratic political system. Democratization in a specific country can be influenced by many various factors. Russia for example has been going through the process of democratization since the early 1990’s. They have been trying to transform itself form its old communist ideologies and move towards a true democracy. Russia has run into many significant social, and political problems with the major setbacks being the inability to develop a strong civil society and the widespread of corruption. The Country of Russia has tried for many years to transform its current government and country into a true democracy but have come up short each time. Looking at the Russian Political system from the outside it appears to be a Democratic style of government with the framework of a federal semi presidential republic. The country has a constitution stating that there is a president, which is the head of the state, and a multi party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the President. The country has a legislative branch just like many other democracies have. For years Russia’s nation was at the top. It was established in 1917 and it was the first communist state. The Soviet Union served as a great example to for communists everywhere of how freedom and equality could be transformed if the working class could truly gain power. This provoked strong responses among its opponents, who saw it as a very violent and power hungry style of government. The communist movement grew from the 1930’s onward, which intensified the tension between communist believers and the people who didn’t believe in it. This eventually lead to a cold war between the United States which included the potential use of nuclear weapons. Oneil explains how in the 1980’s The Soviet Union had a new generation of leaders, which eventually lead to the end of the Soviet Union and the creation of “Russia” itself. In 1991 Boris Yeltsin seized the opportunity to ban the communist party, so in December of 1991 he dismantled the old Soviet union and became president of a new independent Russia. He held this position until 1999, when he named his prime minister Vladamir Putin, acting president. Putin stayed president until he stepped down in 2008 and he was replaced by Dimitri Medvedev. Putin has recently regained his position with the recent election. Steven Fish author of Democracy derailed in Russia explains Russia’s current state when he says, A decade and a half after the collapse of the Soviet system, Russian Democracy lives in tatters. After the spectacular political breakthrough of the late 1980’s and early 90’s democratization slowly ground to a halt. As the 90’s wore on and the new century dawned many of the gains of the late Soviet and early post Soviet periods were in jeopardy. By the time of Vladamir Putins reelection as president of Russia in 2004, Russia’s experiment with open Politics was over. Fish explains that Russian citizens live in a more “open polity” than they did during the Soviet Union era. They also live in a freer political existence than do the citizens of some other lands of the former Soviet union. Fish quotes, “Russia did undergo substantial democratization but unlike many of its other post communist neighbors, Russia significantly failed to advance to democracy. Patrick Oneil author of Cases in Comparative Politics agrees with Steven Fish’s view on Russia. He quotes “Any sense that Russia could be considered a democracy has in the past few years come to an end. Certainly, the country enjoys a much higher degree of freedom than did its Soviet predecessor. But while a number of democratic structures have...
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