Combating Political Corruption: The Case of Armenia in the Context of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption

  • Syuzanna Galstyan


Endemic corruption has been a destructive legacy of the communist rule inherited by most successor states of the Soviet Union. While some post-Soviet states have managed to significantly reduce corruption, others are still among the worst performing countries. Armenia is one of them. Corruption is one of the defining characteristics of Armenian politics described by strong patronage client networks, by a lack of separation between private business and public office, as well as by the overlap between political and business elites. The judiciary and the police considered as crucial actors to combat corruption are themselves plagued by it. All of these undermine the successful implementation of anti-corruption efforts. As Armenia is doing poorly on the legal framework of an anti-corruption agenda, the application of legislative measures and rules is of particular importance in order to strengthen the legal and regulatory regimes to fight corruption in the country. The lack of political will to combat corruption is another main obstacle to overcome. The chapter explores the extent and effect of corruption in Armenia with a primary focus on political corruption and the role of civil society in combating it. Another crucial part of the chapter focuses on the United Nations Convention against Corruption which signifies the role of civil society in the anti-corruption measures. At first glance, Armenia has made some progress by taking the very first steps in order to harmonize domestic legislation in compliance with the provisions of the Convention. However, Armenia has not adopted many of the legislative and other measures mentioned in it which are essential for successful prevention and fight against corruption. Thus, the second part of the chapter reflects on the implementation of the convention in the country, reveals existing gaps, and develops recommendations for Armenia’s enforcement of some articles of the convention which are particularly important for crippling political corruption. It also offers some recommendations on how to make civil society’s engagement in the fight against corruption more active in the Armenian context and within the Convention in particular.


Corruption Political corruption Systemic corruption United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Country review report Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) Civil society Anti-corruption activities Armenia 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Syuzanna Galstyan
    • 1
  1. 1.Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and MitOst AssociationBerlinGermany

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