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Abstract

The neglect of lawyer ethics in legal education, including in continuing legal education for lawyers and judges, is an enduring Soviet legacy in post-Soviet countries. Partially because of this neglect, many people in post-soviet countries do not trust lawyers. Their mistrust often is for good reason—too many lawyers are unethical. Yet, unethical lawyers do more than alienate others and cast the legal profession in disrepute. Unethical lawyers waste resources by unnecessarily prolonging disputes and inflaming antagonisms by provoking unjustifiable confrontations. Worse, they corrupt the legal system by bribing judges, suborning perjury, and using other illegal means to achieve their ends. Thus, they contribute to an all-too-common failure in post-Soviet countries—the failure to achieve the rule of law.

The academic literature is replete with commentary about the place of ethics in legal education. Some argue that ethics instruction is unnecessary. They claim that allusions to ethics in other courses, the law school culture, and the ethics learned earlier in life is sufficient. Others posit that ethics are too important to omit from the law school curriculum. They often add, however, that legal ethics instruction in law school commonly involves little more than demanding that law students memorize rules or codes of conduct.

This article discusses whether the ethics education of future lawyers in post-Soviet countries is adequate. Concluding that it is not, this article proposes suggestions for the content of an Eastern European legal ethics course and methods for teaching law students to internalize ethical norms as a part of their legal education.

Abstract

This research discusses the role of social entrepreneurship as an important feature of the moral economy, i.e., a socially responsible business practice. Developing countries, e.g., Georgia, a post-Soviet country, differ from those in the West in this aspect. The author aims to identify peculiarities of social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility of Georgian businesses. Desk research provides conceptual analysis of the existing quantitative and qualitative studies, based on prominent scientists’ works in economics and entrepreneurship. A “moral economy” understands business activities as “social services.” Social responsibility is a business’s moral framework, suggesting a company’s obligation to generate social benefit. Social entrepreneurship combines the best practices from the nonprofit and for-profit activities to tackle social needs poorly addressed by businesses and governments. Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon in post-Soviet countries, where nongovernmental organizations help in solving many social problems, but their efforts are typically insufficient. Entrepreneurs must find a balance between a company’s success, employees’ needs, and environmental and social stability. These three priorities form the foundations of corporate social responsibility. Economic history provides many examples of moral standards driving the stability of a socio-economic system and profitability of companies with macroeconomic and microeconomic positive impacts. Companies operating in Georgia spend their funds on social projects and charity; moreover, such socially oriented activities are sometimes chaotic. Companies need to implement social responsibility projects as part of their business plans. Strengthening corporate social responsibility could thus support development of social entrepreneurship.

Abstract

The shadow economy remains a significant problem in post-Soviet countries and less economically developed economies. Even though there are a lot of economic and social arguments for the emergence of the shadow economy, it remains the question how much of the shadow economy, as well as an intrinsic willingness to pay taxes, could be explained by social norms, business ethics and illegal business practices that come from the cultural and historical background. This paper focuses on the ethical dilemma and tries to figure out how morality reflects in the tendency to participate in shadow economy. A qualitative approach is applied in this paper to find linkages between moral norms and an acceptance of the shadow economy. This paper supports the idea that people’s backgrounds, their moral norms and close relationships affect how they perceive tax evasion and how much they are willing to participate in such illegal activities.

Abstract

Research undertaken by the World Bank in Europe and the Central Asia Region indicates that there are four principal preconditions for introducing value-based recurrent property tax reforms: comprehensive property registration, a reliable source of data about the prices achieved in transactions, a valuation infrastructure that complies with internationally-recognized standards, and an efficient tax collection system. In spite of the arguments in favor of value-based recurrent property taxes, many countries raise revenue from recurrent property taxes using an area basis, and most countries raise relatively little revenue from recurrent property taxes. The paper has been written according to both the dogmatic-legal method and comparative method. It presents current solutions adopted in post-Soviet European countries in order to draw out recommendations and suggestions for Poland. The original reasoning for the paper is that, amongst many scientific papers concerning thorough debate of property tax systems, few have focused on post-Soviet countries and the issues that arise in transition countries. Most concern Western European or North American countries with different economies, politics, institutions, and histories to the Eastern ones. Authors of the paper believe that the article can fill the gap in discussions on the shape of the property tax system reform in Poland and the reforms carried out in Eastern Europe countries.

Abstract

The article is dedicated to analyse the politics of so called “historical memory” during the state-building and nation-building process in post-socialist Georgia After the Rose Revolution 2003, the new government that aimed at building the “new Georgia,” implementing radical changes in many key spheres, including institutions, readdressing the totalitarian past, faced number of problematic manifestations in political and cultural life in this post-Soviet country. The “politics of memory” became one of the key factors of reconstructing of “new, democratic, western Georgia”. This process can be evaluated as leading toward state nationalism. Analyzing the politics of memory, symbolism is the most notable attitude and that is why former President Mikheil Saakashvili used commemorative ceremonies continuously. The authors argue in favour of approach, that the so called “memory politics” is the integral part of one’s legitimacy building, but at the same time, it can be used as tool for reconsidering of Polity’s future and mobilization of population under the “citizenship” umbrella towards the strong loyalty to the actual and future state-building.

Abstract

It is a widely accepted notion that the major change brought by the 2003 November revolution in Georgia was the reform of the public services. Two major tasks were to be achieved for the state institutions: to monopolize the use of legitimate power on the state territory and to start providing services to the citizens. Police reform was at the heart of both these objectives. The major obstacle identified on the way of this reform was corruption. Indeed it was widely known that posts in police forces were to be purchased; policemen were involved in organized crime, extortion, and other illegal pursuits. But the corruption itself was the effect of the broader system in which patrimonial system of not distinguishing between the public office and private sphere was hybridized with the legal-rational rule, having its origin in the Soviet Union. The main subject of our research is to analyze the model of informal power network in Georgian police, to describe its configurations and identify its social actors.

For the theoretical approach in our study we will use different theories describing informal institutes and the reasons of their existence. One of the main theoretical sources for our analysis will be the theoretical concept of Helmke and Levitsky. Helmke and Levitsky are describing four types of informal institutions which we plan to apply to Georgian police system and identify which of them is more relevant for Georgian reality. Also we will refer to such theories as: Mark Granoveter's strength of week ties and social “embeddedness” of economic action; Mars and Altman's Cultural Basis of Soviet Georgia; Ledeneva's theory of “Blat”, which is one of most popular analytical theory about informal relations in post-Soviet countries.

The main methods we have used are in-depth and narrative interviews. The interviews have been conducted with policemen currently working in different police departments, policemen no more working in this structure, expert and NGO representatives.

Abstract

Performance evaluation of the government agencies seems to be one of the most important issues in modern public administration. The countries with developed economies introduced various performance evaluation models. Th e developing countries also implement instruments to evaluate the government agencies performance. Unlike countries with developed institutional environments, the developing ones very often import evaluation models that have been proven in other countries. In that context, our research aimed to understand how the performance evaluation models work in countries with a developing institutional environment. The fact is that the performance evaluation of the government agencies shows certain results which present it in a positive way to the public. Unfortunately, these survey results do not adequately cover difficulties and obstacles that appear in the performance evaluation introduction process. In this regard, the perception of the evaluation system by the first-hand (civil servants), as well as the end entities (NGO representatives) of how the introduction of the evaluation institute contributes to improving the effectiveness of government agencies need to be analyzed. This article presents an analysis of the impact performance evaluation on performance in government agencies of Kazakhstan through interviews with civil servants (insiders), as they are aware of administrative changes, and representatives of NGO that closely interact with government agencies, so they can really assess the effect of changes. Data collected by quantitative and qualitive methods, such as legislative analysis, mass survey, in-depth interviews of civil servants and NGOs, and focus groups. The authors took into account all the limitations that are typical for surveys of civil servants in countries with a developing institutional environment (e.g. Nemec et al. 2011). In general, the research results provide a wider understanding of the effectiveness of institutional changes when embedding NPM tools into the administrative reforms through a “top-down approach” in emerging economies. The results show that the implementation of a new institution (performance evaluation) into the existing structure of formal institutions of the government agencies was accomplished. It was found that implanting a new institution caused, to some extent, a short-term “shock” to the government agencies, as there since previously there were no objective criteria for evaluating their activity. At the same time, performance evaluation is still not unincorporated into the internal management system in government agencies. It is perceived as a redundant imputed data transfer function for external evaluators. For this reason, top management of government agencies does not involve all staff in the process of evaluating and discussing its results. However, employees show interest in participating in these processes. All this once again confirms that the post-Soviet countries are still in networks of past heritage, namely they preserve a centralized bureaucratic system controlled from above.

Abstract

In the article the issues of establishing and functioning of the zones with special economic activity conditions are addressed and their impact on the environment in Russia and Kazakhstan is assessed. The relevance of the subject of the research is determined, on the one hand, by a qualitative change in the role of the environmental issues in the system of values of population of the post-soviet countries and, on the other hand, by cumulative increase of the negative impact due to the irrational environmental management. Information about the types of special status zones established in these countries is systematized. The key characteristics of these institutional entities are compared, which includes goals and specifics of their development, implemented organizational mechanisms, measures for support of business activities, offered tax incentives and preferences. The authors demonstrate that the adopted accelerated economic growth strategy within the framework of zones with special status is implemented disregarding the environmental effects of their development, which poses serious threats to self-preservation of the society and environment. Common and country-specific risks of functioning of the zones with special economic activity conditions are justified. Factors contributing to inadequate assessment of the negative impact on the environment of industries, created in SEZ were revealed. It is emphasized that the current legal and regulatory framework of these zones in Russia and Kazakhstan is aimed not at the prevention of environmental threats but at the easing of requirements for entities in the field of environmental management. Finally, conclusion is made about the greening opportunities of development of the zones with special economic activity conditions, a necessity to enhance the environmental legislation and mutual “best practices” adoption opportunities in this field in Russia and Kazakhstan. The empirical basis of the analysis is constituted by the results of the studies carried out within the framework of the research work “Enhancement of the State Regulation Policy of Accelerated Clustering of the Industrial Regions” implemented on the grounds of the grant funding of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present the results of research on the variation in the standard of living and quality of life of the inhabitants of Central and Eastern European and the Balkan countries previously belonging to the Soviet sphere of influence. Nineteen post-communist countries were selected for this research, including: seven from the group of post-socialist countries, seven post-Soviet countries, and five from former Yugoslavia. The research procedure adopted involved static (comparative analysis of life quality indexes - Quality of Life Index (QLI) and Human Development Index (HDI) and dynamic (assessment of standard of living based on synthetic taxonomic measures for the years 2007 and 2012) data analysis. The findings indicate a significant variation in the living standards among the inhabitants of post-communist countries. Depending on the scope and accuracy of the quality life measures used, the countries’ ranking positions show a slight variation, though in all cases similar trends are noticeable. The countries of former Czechoslovakia (the Czech and the Slovak Republics) show the highest standard of living. Other countries belonging to the EU also ranked relatively high. Such Balkan states as Albania, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina ranked poorly. The results of multidimensional analysis confirmed these findings and, moreover, allowed for the determination of the trends in living conditions in particular countries. In 2007 a higher-than-average standard of living was identified in nine countries, whereas in 2012 this was the case for 10 countries. As compared to 2007, GDP growth was observed in 16 countries, as well as improvements in health care (increases in health care outlays) and increases in the number of Internet users. However, some phenomena may be disturbing - the rise in unemployment (16 countries), decline in population growth (9 countries) and growing inflation (7 countries).

To recapitulate, the standard of living enjoyed by the population of postcommunist countries is gradually improving, though the pace of changes and trends vary across those countries. What’s more, the results show that with the exception of those countries which are EU members, belonging to specific groups of post-communist countries (post-socialist, post-Soviet and former Yugoslavia) does not affect significantly their populations’ standard of living and quality of life.

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