A look back: ‘”Quiet Revolution” seeks to end legal nihilism’ (Oxford Analytica, 1 November 2010), on the Russian Law on the Police

In part as I reimmerse myself in the detail of this past year of change and not-so-change within the MVD, I thought I’d post (with permission), a piece I wrote for Oxford Analytica back in November of last year. This article was originally published in The Oxford Analytica Daily Brief:


Two key constraints I identified were corruption and a lack of political will. It is still hard to be upbeat about the former – some definite grounds for guarded optimism, but it’s hard to know whether Russia is genuinely going to be able on current showing to address the engrained culture of corruption within the police. However, Medvedev is showing a little more political will than, to be honest, I expected eight months ago. Many of the current wave of dismissals are simply getting rid of the irredeemably incompetents and the politically out-of-favor, and many of the incomers are no cleaner, just smarter, better connected or simply luckier.

I’m writing another brief for OA now on the issue, though, and given that all too often in the past Russia has disappointed instead, it is a pleasant surprise to be marginally more optimistic than before.

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