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Accountability and corruption in Ukraine


Accountability is crucial to every successful democratic system. The failure to develop functioning mechanisms of accountability has undermined democratic consolidation worldwide. Reliable tools that hold officials accountable are essential for democratic governance; one of the key threats to accountability comes from corrupt practices, especially when they are integrated—or normalized—in the day-to-day activities of institutions. This book focuses on the experiences of contemporary Ukraine to evaluate the successes and failures of institutions, politicians, political parties, bureaucracies, and civil society. Yet, the topic is directly relevant to countries that have experienced democratic backsliding, and especially those countries that are at risk.

Normalizing Corruption addresses several interconnected questions: Under what circumstances do incumbents lose elections? How well do party organizations encourage cohesive behavior? Is executive authority responsive to inquiries from public organizations and other government institutions? How can citizens influence government actions? Do civil servants conduct their duties as impartial professionals, or are they beholden to other interests? The research builds upon extensive fieldwork, data collection, and data analysis that Erik S. Herron has conducted since 1999.

Erik S. Herron is Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Political Science at West Virginia University.

“Professor Herron brilliantly analyzes the blatant and subtle mechanisms by which corruption undermines the political process and electoral integrity . . . He proposes reasoned reforms that could stem corruption and enhance accountability essential for democratic development in Ukraine and other post-Soviet states. Scholars and diplomats interested in Eurasian politics and economics should read this book.”
—William Courtney, former U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan and Georgia and Special Assistant to the President for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

- William Courtney

“In this detailed and rigorous account of the plights of corruption and (lack of) accountability in Ukraine, Herron is able to elucidate a systematic pattern of how corruption impedes democratic development and consolidation not only in Ukraine but in other young democracies and post-authoritarian contexts around the globe . . . This empirically rich and theoretically nuanced book is not only a must-read for scholars of Ukrainian politics and society but also for scholars of comparative politics and governance.”
—Dr. Olga Onuch, University of Manchester

- Dr. Olga Onuch

“Herron uses ingenious empirical methods to ferret out things like vote-rigging and the stacking of election commissions. This is essential reading for anyone interested in democracy, corruption or politics in Ukraine.”
—Paul D’Anieri, University of California, Riverside

- Paul D'Anieri

Listen: Erik Herron was interviewed on New Books in Eastern European Studies podcast | 3/5/2021