1st Edition

Law and Power in Russia Making Sense of Quasi-Legal Practices

By Håvard Bækken Copyright 2019
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the issue of selective law enforcement, arguing that the manipulation of the legal system by powerful insiders is a distinctive feature of Putinism, reflecting both its hybrid authoritarianism and Russian legal culture. Based on extensive research including interviews with the victims of selective law enforcement, the book analyses how selective law enforcement works in Russia, discusses the link between law and power, and relates the Russian situation to examples from elsewhere and to general legal theories and ideas of political hybridity.

    Part I: Law and Power in Russian Politics

    Chapter 1. Law and power in authoritarian regimes. Research and perspectives

    Chapter 2. The Russian legal tradition

    Chapter 3. The creation of a new quasi-legal order

    Chapter 4. The politico-legal duality of Putinism, Part II: Selective Law Enforcement in Theory and Practice

    Chapter 5. Selective law enforcement as a mechanism enforcing informal rules

    Chapter 6. Three issue areas of controversy

    Chapter 7. A legal minefield: The role of laws in selective law enforcement

    Chapter 8. Perceptions about political interference

    Chapter 9. The impact of quasi-legal repression

    Conlcluding Remarks.


    Håvard Bækken (b. 1983), obtained a PhD in Russian Area Studies from the University of Oslo (UiO) in 2014. Bækken has been working as a research fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and guest researcher at the Norwegian University Centre in St. Petersburg and the EU–Russia Centre in Brussels. He has taught Russian politics and history at the Institute of Literature, Area-Studies, and European Languages (ILOS) at UiO, and Russian language at the Nansen Academy. Håvard Bækken has earlier publications on issues of law, power, and quasi-legal practices in Russia, as well as on resurgent state patriotism and ‘patriotic education’ in the same country.