Why does police reform appear to have been more successful in Georgia than in Kyrgyzstan or Russia?

Reform has been relatively successful in Georgia because, after the Rose Revolution, the new government used its dominance of the state to fire a huge number of officers, purge the old leadership, and instigate a crackdown on police corruption and links with organised crime. This took place in the background of a strong public demand for reform and a state-building process which dramatically reduced public sector corruption and altered state-society relations. In Kyrgyzstan and Russia, neither top-down nor bottom-up pressure has manifested itself into political pressure for reform. In the former, the state has been highly contested and powerful factions have competed to use it to extract resources for their own benefit and/or those of their constituents. In Russia, the state is more stable, but the leadership lacks the know-how or the willingness to implement meaningful reform. Instead of reform being imposed upon each country’s Ministry of Interior, reforms have been co-opted by elements within the ministries, with the result that they have been ineffective.

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