Corrupting or Stabilizing: The Political Economy of Corruption in Donbas’s “People’s Republics”




Ukraine, Corruption, Political Economy, Conflict, De-facto states


A wide range of normative implications exists between corruption and the stability of de-facto states. While some claim that corruption inherently disrupts institutional development and stumps economic growth, others argue that corruption in some cases acts as a stabilizing factor for authoritarian regimes. Regardless, corruption generally plays a role in the political economy of any state. In de-facto states, corruption tends to play an outsized role, either or equally impacting the exercise of political authority or the allocation of public goods and services. This research aims to examine the case study of the Luhansk and Donetsk “People’s Republics” and the relationship between corruption and governance in these two de-facto regions to better understand how corruption and stability are interrelated. Methodologically, I plan to use mostly political economy methods, namely focusing on using Goodhand’s framework of analyzing different economies during conflict. I will rely mostly on open-source information for this preliminary research to determine what the governance structure is, namely focusing on the DPR’s and the LPR’s respective governments.

Author Biography

Gabriella Gricius, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Senior Research Associate for the Public International Law and Policy Group in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and independent researcher at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. She recently received her Master’s degree in International Security from the University of Groningen and is currently pursuing doctoral research as well as acting as a Teacher at the International Law Clinic at VU Amsterdam. Her interests are focused on the intersection of conflict studies, corruption and security studies in Russia and Eastern Europe. She is also a freelance journalist and has published in Foreign Policy, Bear Market Brief, Global Security Review and Riddle Russia as well as the academic journals ‘The Asian Journal of Peacebuilding’ and ‘Sicherheit und Frieden.’


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How to Cite

Gricius, G. (2019). Corrupting or Stabilizing: The Political Economy of Corruption in Donbas’s “People’s Republics”. Kyiv-Mohyla Law and Politics Journal, (5), 37–57.