“Feed from the Service”: Corruption and Coercion in the State—University Relations in Central Eurasia
Education in Central Eurasia has become one of the industries, most affected by corruption. Corruption in academia, including bribery, extortions, embezzlement, nepotism, fraud, cheating, and plagiarism, is reflected in the region’s media and addressed in few scholarly works. This paper considers corruption in higher education as a product of interrelations between the government and academia. A substantial block of literature considers excessive corruption as an indicator of a weak state. In contrast to standard interpretations, this paper argues that in non-democratic societies corruption is used on a systematic basis as a mechanism of direct and indirect administrative control over higher education institutions. Informal approval of corrupt activities in exchange for loyalty and compliance with the regime may be used in the countries of Central Eurasia for the purposes of political indoctrination. This paper presents the concept of corruption and coercion in the state-university relations in Central Eurasia and outlines the model which incorporates this concept and the “feed from the service” approach. It presents implications of this model for the state-university relations and the national educational systems in Central Eurasia in general and offers some suggestions on curbing corruption.
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