Soviet Constitutional Crisis

Author: Robert Sharlet
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315486482
Format: PDF, Docs
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Moving from the adoption of the "post-Stalin" Constitution of 1977 through its subsequent implementation under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko to the radical legal "restructuring" of the Gorbachev years, Robert Sharlet traces the gradual evolution of a nascent constitutionalism in the erstwhile USSR. Sharlet, a noted authority on Soviet law and constitutional development, demonstrates the gradual transformation of law from an instrument of Communist Party rule into the new "rules of the game" for nonauthoritarian political development. In effect, he argues, one of Gorbachev's most durable achievements may be his redefinition of Soviet politics into a legal idiom along with his relocation of policymaking from behind the closed doors of Party conclaves into the more open, emergent arena of constitutional government. In analyzing the politics of law from the Brezhnev era to the rise of Yeltsin, the author takes account of the "war of laws", the symbolic uses of the Soviet constitution, and even the fact that the leaders of the failed coup attempted to justify their seizure of power on constitutional grounds. Constitutionalism has sufficiently suffused Soviet public life, the book concludes, that most of the sovereign republics as successors to the former USSR, have begun designing their futures - to varying degrees - in constitutional forms.

Russian Constitutionalism

Author: Andrei Medushevsky
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134226497
Format: PDF, ePub
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Medushevsky examines constitutionalism in Russia from Tsarist times to the present. He traces the different attitudes to constitutionalism in political thought, and in practice, at different periods, showing how the balance between authoritarianism and liberalism has shifted. In addition, he discusses the importance of constitutional developments for societies in transition, and concludes that post-communist constitutional development in Russia is still far from complete. As an empirical resource, Russian Constitutionalism takes a longer historical view than other books on this topic, and it also goes further than this in its interpretive approach, providing a greater understanding of Russian constitutionalism.

The Crisis of Russian Democracy

Author: Richard Sakwa
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139494910
Format: PDF, ePub
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The view that Russia has taken a decisive shift towards authoritarianism may be premature, but there is no doubt that its democracy is in crisis. In this original and dynamic analysis of the fundamental processes shaping contemporary Russian politics, Richard Sakwa applies a new model based on the concept of Russia as a dual state. Russia's constitutional state is challenged by an administrative regime that subverts the rule of law and genuine electoral competitiveness. This has created a situation of permanent stalemate: the country is unable to move towards genuine pluralist democracy but, equally, its shift towards full-scale authoritarianism is inhibited. Sakwa argues that the dual state could be transcended either by strengthening the democratic state or by the consolidation of the arbitrary power of the administrative system. The future of the country remains open.