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Article

Who demands collective action in an imperfect institutional environment? A case study of the profession of advocates in Russia

Journal of Eurasian Studies. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 1. P. 60-71.

We analyse the profession of criminal defence lawyers (“advocates”) in Russia to understand their potential for collective action in an imperfect institutional environment. In 2013, we conducted a survey of 372 advocates in 9 regions of Russia. The following two main hypotheses are tested: (1) lawyers with strong ethical values have a higher demand for collective action; and (2) the negative experience of clients' rights violations by law enforcement officers can motivate advocates to support the foundation of a strong professional association. We suggest that an advocate's profession with bona fide members at the core could be an instrument to evaluate and to improve the quality of law enforcement in Russia.