Erik S. Herron’s Normalizing Corruption: Failures of Accountability in Ukraine (University of Michigan Press, 2020) zeroes in on the mechanisms that sustain corruption and minimize accountability: aspects that play a crucial role in the effectiveness of democratic processes. This investigation is based on rigorous analyses of data that shed light on the specificities of the accountability system in Ukraine. In Ukraine, corrupt practices seem to overwhelm political and societal life. Corruption is a ubiquitous topos that is extensively commented on by both politicians and scholars. Many connect the pervasiveness of corruption in post-Communist states with the Soviet legacy. While recognizing Soviet influences on the formation of corrupt practices in Ukraine, Herron offers to compartmentalize corruptions, which may facilitate the development of actions and activities that can help minimize corruption. While focusing on the Ukrainian case, this book also includes sections that highlight the experiences of other former Soviet countries, including Georgia, Baltic states, and Russia.
Normalizing Corruption: Failures of Accountability in Ukraine contributes to the study of the development of democratic practices in the states whose political history is closely connected with totalitarianism and authoritarianism.
Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed is a PhD student in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures.