Civil Society In The Fight Against Corruption

Abstract

One of the main challenges for the civilized community today is the problem of corruption. Along with terrorism and extremism, corruption is a serious threat aimed at undermining Russia's national security. In the context of ensuring national security, the problems of the quality and efficiency of government bodies, their constant desire to eradicate corruption, and the relationship between the institutions of the government itself and elements of civil society remain significant and very acute for modern Russia. There can be many solutions to this problem. First, it is necessary to ensure constant interaction between civil society institutions and the state in order to work together to counter all kinds of manifestations of corruption factors. Secondly, it is important to develop new forms of public control, which will help to increase the level of public confidence in the current government. Social control measures can be effectively implemented by launching procedures for self-organization of civil society. With direct resource and technological support of the state, it is important to ensure a smooth transition of control from the jurisdiction of direct state influence to the sphere of indirect regulatory influence, which will contribute to the self-organization of citizens and increase their level of political activity, and strengthen their interest in positive changes in the life of the state.

Keywords: Corruptioncivil societystatenational security

Introduction

The fight against corruption issues cause a great response both among representatives of civil society institutions and the state, as evidenced by the significant volume of publication activity on this topic. For example, modern domestic researchers rightly point out the relationship between the intensification of joint work of representatives of civil society institutions and the state with the effectiveness of the fight against corruption, as a phenomenon that creates real threats to the national security of the country ( Semchenkov, 2012; Zorin & Abramov, 2018).

The data of the conducted sociological surveys of citizens in certain regions of Russia also indicate the importance of the problem of corruption for modern Russian society. So, in may 2017, the Prague news Agency "Medium Orient" traditionally conducted a public opinion poll in the republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria for the trust of the population of the current regional authorities, as well as guarantees in the implementation of the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens ( Itekushev, 2017). Among the respondents, more than 40 percent of citizens named the problem of corruption of the ruling elites as one of the most acute problems that hinder the normal functioning of civil society institutions. This problem is much more important in these regions, according to sociological research, than the problem of organized crime (29 %), which once again serves as evidence that the issue of corruption remains relevant and requires a serious approach in developing mechanisms to combat this phenomenon. According to official statistics, the vector of corruption-related crimes in Russia remains at a high level. So, as of 2015, 30143 corruption crimes were recorded, according to 2016-27050, in 2017-29634 in 2018-23234, in January-October 2019-27644 ( Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, 2019). In addition to domestic researchers, the authors of foreign publications ( Dasgupta, 2019; Jahnke & Weisser, 2019; Mocetti & Orlando, 2019; Reynolds, 2019; Zakharov, 2019; PASMI, 2019; Hellmann, 2019; Anisimova, 2019).

Problem Statement

Within the framework of ensuring national security, problems of the quality and efficiency of government bodies and their constant aspiration to eradicate corruption remain acute for modern Russia. An important factor in updating the problem of legal aspects of countering corruption in the context of Russia's national security is the high tension in its social space. The relationship between the institutions of the government and elements of civil society in the effective fight against corruption remains debatable.

Research Questions

The problem of corruption poses a potential threat to Russia's national interests. Achieving consolidation of civil society and state institutions in the fight against this phenomenon may be the only effective catalyst aimed at combating this phenomenon. Only through the development of an effective regional national security strategy, taking into account the national interests and cultural characteristics of the population of the regions, can we build a truly effective model of interaction between civil society and authorities in the context of solving the problems of fighting corruption.

The liberal-democratic model of interaction between civil society institutions and the state, which has proven itself on a positive side in Western Europe, has proved its effectiveness. This model is based on the presumption of the government's consent to the need to create a system of public control in the sphere of national interests and national security guarantee systems. Politically constructive associations of citizens should be equal subjects of the system in ensuring national security. The active sense of justice inherent in the institutions of Western civil society is a powerful tool for influencing public authorities and management, and the elements of partnership between them are an important prerequisite for further improving the tools for effective fight against corruption.

Thus, the above arguments indicate the relevance of the topic under consideration. Russia has developed a statist model of interaction between the state and civil society in the process of implementing the national security strategy. Despite the undeniable advantages of this model, it has a number of significant drawbacks that hinder the effective interaction of civil society institutions and the state in the fight against corruption. One of these problems is the gaps in legislation regulating the joint activities of state and civil institutions, as well as the apparent lack of initiative of citizens in solving urgent problems of state life. In the framework of the existing Russian model of interaction between civil society and state institutions, the state assumes the leading role of the subjects in the fight against corruption, leaving for civil society institutions only a secondary role. There is no doubt that such "encouragement" of citizens ' lack of initiative generates a lack of effective public initiatives to combat corruption. On the contrary, encouraging the active legal awareness of citizens on the part of the state would create real prerequisites for strengthening public control over the activities of state structures in the fight against corruption.

In the statist model of ensuring national security in the fight against corruption, a positive role can be played by effectively used network technologies, which can be one of the elements of active manifestations of citizens in expressing their position on pressing problems in the life of the state and society. However, the state should not rely on Internet resources as a whole in the form of opinion polls or the expression of citizens ' opinions expressed on the Internet. Manifestations of elements of activism do not always reflect the political realities and mood of society, and sometimes can serve as a tool for manipulating public opinion. At the same time, petitions, as well as ways of expressing activism, can initiate an activist legal awareness of citizens, while minimizing the scope for manipulating public opinion.

To increase the effectiveness of joint activities of state structures and civil society institutions, it is necessary to modernize the existing model of interaction between society and the state, shifting the emphasis from the vertical model of coordination of national security systems to horizontal communications. The Russian society objectively needs a process of increasing the role of citizens ' associations in the process of their interaction with the state in the course of solving problems of combating corruption. Thus, it is necessary to achieve constant interaction between civil society institutions and the state in order to work together to counter all kinds of manifestations of corruption factors, while improving the very model of such interaction.

In order to effectively combat corruption, it is important to develop new forms of public control, which will help increase the level of public confidence in the current government. Social control measures can be effectively implemented by launching procedures for self-organization of civil society. With direct resource and technological support of the state, it is important to ensure a smooth transition of control from the jurisdiction of direct state influence to the sphere of indirect regulatory influence, which will contribute to the self-organization of citizens and increase their level of political activity, and strengthen their interest in positive changes in the life of the state. Public monitoring and public expertise can serve as political technologies aimed at strengthening the active legal awareness of citizens in the fight against corruption. In Russia, public control technologies are implemented through public councils under Federal Executive authorities, whose formation and activities have been repeatedly criticized by both public organizations and top officials of the state. So, in June 2017, V.V. Putin made a constructive assessment of the activities of public councils under ministries and departments, calling their work formal and not having a productive focus. In his speech, V.V. Putin called for making the work of public councils effective and making them an effective tool of public control in the hands of civil society institutions ( Putin, 2017). In order to improve the activities of public councils to establish a unified technology platform, which will broadcast the results of all public councils that will contribute to the effective work of public institutions in the fight against corruption and other challenges that pose a threat to national security.

The current statist model of ensuring national security in the fight against corruption in modern Russia does not allow, and sometimes creates obstacles to fully implement various forms of public control. Thus, in the course of their work on the implementation of public control, public monitoring commissions experience certain difficulties related to the obstruction of their legitimate activities by law enforcement agencies. Such opposition may be expressed in prohibiting members of public monitoring commissions from conducting inspections by using audio, video, and photo-recording tools. In order to prevent such phenomena, it is proposed to develop a system for evaluating the performance of each representative of the public monitoring Commission, to tighten the criteria for professional selection of candidates and the procedure for the formation of public monitoring commissions.

Effective public control needs to modernize the legislative framework, and there is an urgent problem of making changes to existing legal acts that affect issues of civil initiatives in the sphere of control over public authorities. So, in order to take into account the actual existence of mass civil control, paragraph 1 of art. 2 of the Federal law No. 59-FZ of May 2, 2006 "On procedure of consideration of citizens of the Russian Federation» should be complemented with the right of citizens to appeal through public initiatives, for which a vote was taken on the Internet resources in accordance with the procedure established by this law. Thus, the problem of improving effective public control in the sphere of interaction between civil society institutions and the state in the fight against corruption continues to be relevant and needs further modernization, including at the legislative level. The national security system of the Russian Federation in the field of anti-corruption consists of building security systems for its subjects. The strategic goal of implementing the concept of national security of Russia at the regional level is the embodiment of national interests, while taking into account the specific features of its individual subjects. Despite the existence of the national security strategy of the Russian Federation, its implementation on the ground needs to develop local concepts of national security in each of the regions separately, taking into account their national, cultural and religious characteristics.

The choice of a regional national security strategy reasonably depends on the level of social and economic development of the society. In July 2018, the St. Petersburg policy Foundation conducted an analysis of Russian regions for the maximum level of socio-political stability ( Petersburg Politics, 2018). at the end of this rating are the republics of the North Caucasus Federal district and the southern Federal district. The catalysts for the low socio-political stability of these regions were corruption scandals in the ranks of representatives of regional ruling elites, the low standard of living of the population caused by unemployment and other factors of socio-economic instability in the regions, which, undoubtedly, was a powerful factor that negatively affects the level of public confidence in local representative authorities. In a number of regions of the North Caucasus Federal district, taking into account religious and national characteristics, the issue of effective interaction between civil society institutions and the state will be most effective if representatives of religious organizations and national public associations are actively involved in the work of public organizations. If society and the state reach such a level of social development in their interaction that they are able to ensure equality of all religious groups by reaching a compromise, satisfying the spiritual needs of citizens and consolidating society in order to achieve common interests that affect the state strategy in the sphere of combating corruption, then this model is the most optimal for modern Russia.

Thus, given the multinational and multi-confessional structure of the Russian Federation when forming and developing regional strategies to combat corruption-generating factors, it is advisable to consider features of the population of regions, taking into account their national interests, cultural and religious identity that will allow to start the mechanism of implementation of political technologies of interaction between civil society and government institutions in the fight against corruption.

Purpose of the Study

In the process of the current study, the following tasks were set :

  • Identification of significant problems in the sphere of influence of civil society institutions on the effectiveness of the fight against corruption.

  • Formulation of recommendations for changing legislation of the Russian Federation.

  • Drawing attention to the problem of fighting corruption in Russia.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of this were special legal methods: formal legal, structural and functional, and comparative law. On the basis of the dialectical approach as a general scientific method of cognition, general research methods were used: logical methods, analysis, synthesis, system-structural, and statistical. A number of legal problems were identified by applying the comparative legal method.

Findings

The problem of corruption poses a threat to Russia's national interests. Achieving consolidation of civil society and state institutions in the fight against this phenomenon may be the only effective catalyst aimed at combating this phenomenon. In order to effectively combat corruption, it is important to develop new forms of public control. The necessity of changing the legislation in order to increase the effectiveness of the influence of civil society institutions in the fight against corruption crimes is justified.

Conclusion

The identified problems in the work can be solved in the following ways. It is necessary to modernize the existing model of interaction between society and the state, shifting the emphasis from the vertical model of coordination of national security systems to horizontal communications. Create a single technology platform that will broadcast the results of the work of all public councils, which will contribute to the effective work of public institutions in the fight against corruption and other challenges that pose a threat to the national security of the country. Make changes to item 1 of article 2 of the Federal law No. 59-FZ of May 2, 2006 "On the procedure for consideration of appeals of citizens of the Russian Federation", adding the norm of the article with the right of citizens to appeal in the form of public initiatives. Add item 4.1 of article 4 of the Federal law No. 59-FZ of May 2, 2006 "On the procedure for consideration of appeals of citizens of the Russian Federation" with the term "public initiative". When forming and developing regional strategies aimed at combating corruption-related factors, take into account the characteristics of the population of the regions, taking into account their national interests, cultural and religious identity, which will fully launch the mechanism for implementing political technologies for interaction between civil society and state institutions in the fight against corruption.

References

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

01.04.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.04.120

Online ISSN

2357-1330