Reforming Justice in Russia, 1864-1996: Power, Culture, and the Limits of Legal Order


At each of its great historical junctures, Russia has undergone major legal reforms, without ever truly establishing "the rule of law". We are witnessing another such critical period now, and the endpoint is not yet clearly defined. Is Russia evolving a Western-style legal order, or should we expect to see new variations on the established pattern -- politically dominated legal system valuing outcomes over procedures, tolerating the expedient use of extralegal means of coercion, and fostering extrajudicial forms of conflict resolution?

This volume measures Russian legal reform in relation to the rule-of-law ideal, but, more than that, it examines the legal institutions, culture, and reform goals that have actually prevailed in Russia. Judgments about future prospects are measured against two starting points, 1914 and 1991, adding new dimensions to our understanding of the Soviet legacy. The international group of contributors -- including Sergei Kazantsev, Girish Bhat, Cathy Frierson, Jane Burbank, Golfo Alexopoulos, Gapor Rittersporn, Yoram Gorlizki, Gordon Smith, Eugene Huskey, Robert Sharlet, and Sarah Reynolds -- bring to this endeavor a range of disciplinary methods and expertise on law and justice in tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Peter H. Solomon Jr.
  • William G. Wagner
  • Sergei M. Kazantsev
  • Girish N. Bhat
  • Jane Burbank
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Armonk, NY
Publication year:
  • 1997