Judicial Clientelism and Decay of Democracy in Post-Soviet States

My key theoretical contribution is in the analysis of clientelism outside election-related politics. It is about the exercise of collective judicial autonomy in clientelist authoritarian regimes. Working through these intra-judicial clientelist sub-networks allows judicial chiefs to protect their clients, provide them with “modernizing” benefits and exercise collective judicial autonomy from the rulers-patrons more generally. This is why we see many post-Soviet leaders publicly blame judicial chiefs, whose fates the former totally control, for collective recalcitrance and “corporate solidarity.” Yet the mainstream theories of judicial politics have yet to explain both blaming of and behaving of seemingly pliant judges.