22 August 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: Development of Russian Law - Between Tradition and Modernity

Development of Russian Law-VI:
Between Tradition and Modernity
International Conference
October 17-18, 2013
Faculty of Law
University of Helsinki

Call for papers

In the past year, Russian law has faced a number of challenges testing its cohesiveness and the level of development, together with the rule of law and democracy. The State Duma election fraud, the Pussy Riot case, the Magnitsky case, anti-gay laws, anti-opposition measures and, finally, the “anti-Magnitsky law” underlined the use of law for the goals of an authoritarian political regime, resembling methods and attitudes of Soviet positive law-making. Many of the 2011-2012 laws have been passed in an attempt to regulate private behavior and to test the limits of personal liberty, as individuals understand it. 

In the present situation, legal research faces many challenges of its own. After the 1990s, the age of experiments, swift denials and democratic debates, Russian legal science together with other social sciences and humanities entered a period of stabilization and a quiet state of rigid conservatism even worse than in the thriving age of Soviet ideological control, because today Russia is officially viewed as a “democratic state” and there is no need to struggle with the regime and hide your ideas behind the crafted narrative of supposedly official discourse. Any scholar is relatively free to define his or her research interests, methodology and the area of study, as well as to express their bright and challenging ideas through access to a wide range of academic journals. However, the focus of lawyers today is mostly on the normative substance of Russian rules and institutions – real law and legal reasoning – and less on the socio-economic dimension. Legal research tends to concentrate on purely legal issues and withdraw from the uncertainties of other social sciences through careful avoidance of interdisciplinarity. I. Iu. Kozlikhin expressed his disagreement with “pointless and even detrimental usage of ‘alien’ terminology” in one of his recent articles, while criticizing hermeneutics, legal anthropology and communicative theory in their application to law and legal theory. 

The Institute of International Economic Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki is pleased to announce the consecutive conference in Development of Russian law, which will take place in Helsinki on October 17-18, 2013. This conference continues the series of workshops, seminars, and conferences in Russian law, organized by the Faculty of Law since 2008. This annual event is devoted to discussions of the new and important topics within the field of Russian law and legal studies. The 2013 theme is development of Russian law between tradition and modernity and what choices and strategies it makes in the present-day situation. 

The conference utilizes the bottom-up approach as to call for papers: Any topic within the sphere of Russian law which is considered important and/or crucial for the development of Russian law and legal studies by the applicant is welcome to be submitted as a proposal for conference participation. We especially encourage younger scholars and graduate students to apply. We also welcome legal researchers from across disciplines to join our discussions of Russian law. 

The conference format suggests giving sufficient time for both presenting scholars’ findings and discussion. The sessions are composed of major presentation (40 mins) and two co-presentations (20 mins) on the similar issue followed by a general discussion. At this point we invite proposals for:
- major presentations (40 mins);
- co-presentations (20 mins).
We also encourage complete session proposals.

Please, indicate in your proposal what type of the presentation you would like to give.

The working language of the conference is English. All presentations and discussions are held in this language. 

Please, include the following in your proposal:
- Name;
- Affiliation;
- Contact information;
- Title of your talk;
- Abstract (200-400 words). In case of session proposals, please, include the abstract for the session (400 words) and for each paper (100 words).

The proposals shall be sent to with the mention of Development of Russian Law-VI in the subject matter by September, 1st, 2013.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Marianna Muravyeva, Docent, Senior Researcher,

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