A thorough examination of Pashukanis’ writings, this book is a significant contribution to a proper assessment of Pashukanis’ work, the value of his theoretical legacy and the contemporary relevance of Marxist legal theory.
Interest in the best-known Soviet legal scholar, Evgeny Pashukanis, remains widespread and his work retains considerable relevance. His writings provide a rich source of material on the Marxist theory of law and the state, as well as the attempts to apply that doctrine in Soviet Russia. In this book, Michael Head considers Pashukanis’ work both within its historical context and in relation to contemporary legal theory, answering a range of questions including:
- How and why did Pashukanis emerge as the pre-eminent Soviet jurist from 1924 to 1930?
- Why did he come under only minor criticism from 1930 to 1936 and then be denounced and executed in 1937 as a 'Trotskyite saboteur'?
- Why have many Western scholars generally praised the quality and originality of Pashukanis’ work, yet also drawn the conclusion that his fate illustrates the intrinsic impossibility of the entire communist project?
Serving as an introduction to Pashukanis and Marxist legal theory and a timely contribution in light of the universal assault on civil liberties in the indefinite 'War on Terror' and the constant escalation of 'law and order' measures in Western societies, this volume is an invaluable resource for those interested in jurisprudence and critical thought.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Pashukanis and the Challenge of Soviet Jurisprudence 1. The Marxist View of Law: Socialism, Democracy and the Withering Away of the State 2. The Dynamics of the Russian Revolution 3. The Passionate Legal Debates of Early Soviet Russia 4. The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Jurist: Evgeny Pashukanis and Stalinism 5. Pashukanis’ Theoretical Contributions and Weaknesses 6. Was there an Alternative?: Pashukanis and the Opposition 7. How has Pashukanis been Treated by Western Theorists? 8. Is Pashukanis still Relevant? 9. Pashukanis’ Enduring Question: Can the State Wither Away?
Dr Michael Head is Associate Professor in the Law School at University of Western Sydney.