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Anti-corruption Policies in Russia and Italy: Public Perceptions, Policy Capacity and Political will

Student: Camilo ernesto Camargo montoya

Supervisor: Nina Y. Belyaeva

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2020

The question under which this comparative study was guided is: How can the initiatives and public policies that make up the policy against corruption, in Russia and Italy during the period between 2014 and 2019, be characterized through the concept of Policy Capacity? As this research is a comparative study, it implies a comparative method, from a qualitative and critical perspective, on the measures and public policies that have been implemented against corruption, in countries such as Italy and Russia. This method is proposed as a framework to evaluate hypotheses and generalizations between the different realities that occur in different States, without leaving the factual and documentary basis. The comparative method seeks to reveal, first of all, the peculiarity of each institutional reality. For the purposes of collecting the information, a documentary and bibliographic compilation was made. This paper draws on concepts and theories like Policy Capacity, understood as the set of means and abilities so that States and their members can make intelligent decisions, observing the current environment and assuming practical and efficient positions and strategies. By extension, Policy Capacity focuses on decision-making in the implementation of public policies; Political will can be understood as the agreement of particular wills around the construction of solutions during the short and medium term, articulated with the control exercised by the Rule of Law and Public perception can be understood as the image created from a series of opinions or wills that have in common the analysis or judgment of a situation. This means that public perception can be a close reading of the consequences that political and institutional decisions can unleash in the individual and daily lives of citizens. Russia and Italy are related in the fact that in both countries, there is the presence, according to recent world history, of great corruption scandals. Italy and Russia have received great media attention worldwide, around how several people, within these countries, have taken advantage of geopolitical crises or a confused bureaucratic order, to enrich themselves at the expense of the well-being of a large population. However, despite historical and political differences, Russia and Italy have come to resemble each other in some respects, although these are presented with a different intensity in respect to geopolitics: the great impact of neoliberalism; the emergence of an oligarchy close to the executive branch; the concentration of power around an authoritarian, charismatic or populist figure; the risk that democratic guarantees will falter - in the face of the logic of a strong man who stands as a representative of popular power - are some of those traits that exist in both Russia and Italy. The relationship between Policy Capacity, Political Will and Political Perception, as dimensions to understand the Anti-Corruption policy in Russia and Italy, become more evident in how the Public Ministry, the Judicial Branch and Popular Participation operate. All of them, in principle, come together in the defense of a plural democracy that considers the well-being of people According to the results of this research, The Russian experience on their Anti-Corruption policy has been intersected by a Policy Capacity coerced by a State that privileges a bureaucratic oligarchy that has settled on social inequality and citizen inequality. Corruption is unlikely to cease as a means of exercising power and is considered a risk to institutions. The case of Italy shows how corruption adapts to different levels of Policy Capacity - individual, organizational or systemic. Each of these levels involves a series of material damages or moral misrepresentations that undermine the legitimacy of the rule of law. However, in Italy there is a greater democratic exercise that has prevented corruption from succeeding as the main means of exercising power.

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