23 November 2018

BOOK: William POMERANZ, Law and the Russian State: Russia’s Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). ISBN 9781474224222, £76.50

(Source: Bloomsbury)

At the end of December, Bloomsbury is publishing a new book on Russian legal history from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin.


Russia is often portrayed as a regressive, even lawless country, and yet the Russian state has played a major role in shaping and experimenting with law as an instrument of power. In Law and the Russian State, William E. Pomeranz examines Russia's legal evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin, addressing the continuities and disruptions of Russian law during the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods along the way. The book covers key themes, including:

* Law and empire
* Law and modernization
* The politicization of law
* The role of intellectuals and dissidents in mobilizing the law
* The evolution of Russian legal institutions
* The struggle for human rights
* The rule-of-law
* The quest to establish the law-based state

It also analyzes legal culture and how Russians understand and use the law. Including a useful glossary and a detailed bibliography, this is an important text for anyone seeking a sophisticated understanding of how Russian society and the Russian state have developed in the last 350 years.


William Pomeranz is the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., USA. In addition, Dr Pomeranz teaches Russian law at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University, USA. He has written numerous journal articles on post-Soviet legal developments, including Russian foreign investment laws, judicial review, federalism, and corruption. He is also a frequent commentator on developments in Russia, with appearances on C-Span, Sky News, CNN, NPR, VOA, Bloomberg, and several other media networks. His editorials have appeared with Reuters, the National Interest, and CNN International.


1. Law and Empire under Peter the Great
2. The Expansion of Russian Legality
3. The Judicial Reforms of 1864 and the Modernization of Russian Law
4. Law, Politics, and Revolution
5. Filling in the Blanks: The Creation of Socialist Law
6. Socialist Legality and Illegality
7. Russia's Long Constitutional Crisis: 1985-1993
8. The 1993 Constitution and Russia's Liberal Experiment
9. Vladimir Putin and the Restoration of State and Law

More information here

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