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Corruption in Russia and Eurasia


Admission requirements

Open to all students from the MA programme Russian and Eurasian Studies. Students from other MA programmes require a Russian language reading level of B1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, see CEFR.


The countries of Eurasia have some of the highest levels of corruption worldwide. The issue of corruption warrants serious attention because corruption helps to entrench authoritarian rule and depresses economic development. While there are many initiatives to fight corruption, it appears deeply ingrained in post-Soviet societies, and is part of a bigger problem of non-observance of the rule of law and the prevalence of informal practices over formal institutions. This course studies the phenomenon of corruption (broadly defined) in post-Soviet Eurasia. Among the issues we will explore are the causes and consequences of corruption, the fight against corruption, informal institutions, the resource curse, state capture, and electoral corruption.

Course objectives

The course provides students with an insight into the phenomenon of corruption in relation to post-Soviet Eurasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan). The course strengthens academic research skills (including the formulation, contextualization, and operationalization of appropriate research questions) through a range of written assignments. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key theoretical concepts and frameworks related to the phenomenon of corruption in their application to post-Soviet Eurasia, through written and oral presentations and class discussions.

  • Understand and explain the (policy) relevance of the issue of corruption for the political, economic, and societal orders of the post-Soviet states, and interpret developments in post-Soviet Eurasia through the prism of corruption.


See Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total 280 hrs (10EC)
Class 26 hrs
Reading 100 hrs
Written assignments 40 hrs
Research paper 114 hrs.

Assessment method

Research paper (50%); Analytical papers (20%); Briefing paper (20%); Presentation and participation (10%). Students pass the course if their weighted average is 5.50 or higher and the grade for the research paper is at least 5.50. Only the research paper can be retaken.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

The readings will be listed in the course outline which will be made available on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher: M.Bader
Coordinator of Studies: mw. drs. T. Bouma
Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Not applicable.