Mechanisms of Decoupling from Global Regimes: The Case of Anticorruption Reforms in Russia and Ukraine
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 28, Number 1, Winter 2020
- pp. 77-111
- View Citation
- Additional Information
The current system of international governance entails several legal regimes that address social issues ranging from terrorism to environmental degradation. While these regimes' policy prescriptions are standard, the reforms that they inspire within individual countries are strikingly diverse. Based on a case study of anti-corruption reforms in Russia and Ukraine, we use the notion of decoupling to analyze the process by which regime policy prescriptions translate into unique country-level reforms. Using the grounded theory method, we derive four mechanisms for decoupling from the global anti-corruption regime: sabotage, appropriation, intransigence, and accommodation. Our data suggest that the distribution of power among the domestic political actors who compete for ownership of reforms has an impact on which mechanism is likely to be used.