Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Wally Bacon


The purpose of this study is to better understand the phenomenon of corruption in the former member states of the Soviet Union and the implications for a successful completion of democratic transition and consolidation. The complex political and economic situation is constantly changing, and although well over a decade has passed since the official collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the future of the majority of the fifteen former Soviet Union countries remains - at best - questionable and uncertain. This study is concentrated on comparing different rates of progress towards democratization in several of the former Soviet Union countries, including Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic States. This study will show how the existence of systemic corruption is most widespread in transitioning economies, but measuring the exact extent and impact of it on these societies is very difficult. Empirical research has provided results that are estimates, however, and cannot be classified as an exact reflection of the actual situation. Previous research done in this field presents diverse approaches on how to effectively reduce the rates of corruption in these newly developed countries, all of which carry heavy political, economic, and social baggage. This research will show evidence that progress towards democratization and marketization has not been as timely as was once predicted by Western leaders, academia, and others. The era and legacy of communism has clenched its claws into this region of the world, and is unable to let go of its deeply imbedded socialist beliefs and values. Corruption will never be eliminated in its entirety. It can, however, be reduced through necessary policy implementation and the evolving development of the civil society. This must occur if democratization is to take its course.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master's of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Eva V. Ertmane December 17, 2004

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