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Russian police and transition to democracy: lessons from one empirical study

Zernova, Margarita


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Dr Margarita Zernova
Lecturer in Criminology and Programme Director for MA in Criminal Justice and Crime Control


The paper discusses public experiences of policing in today’s Russia, public attitudes towards police resulting from such experiences and wider social implications of those attitudes. At the basis of the discussion is an empirical study which has been carried out by the author. The study has found abundant evidence of distrust towards – and fear of – police by contemporary Russians. It is argued that the corrupt, brutal and unaccountable police who lack legitimacy in the eyes of citizens trigger public responses that may help to deepen social inequalities, subvert the process of establishing the rule of law and impede the Russian transition to democracy. Moreover, if citizens view the police as illegitimate – indeed, believe that the very state agency designed to protect them actually presents threats to their security – the legitimacy of the entire state structure is at risk.


Zernova, M. (2013). Russian police and transition to democracy: lessons from one empirical study. Internet journal of criminology, 2013(May), 1-39

Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Internet journal of criminology
Print ISSN 2045-6743
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2013
Issue May
Pages 1-39
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Internet journal of criminology, 2013, May issue


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