1st Edition

Legal Form Pashukanis and the Marxist Critique of Law

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    A century after the publication of Evgeny Pashukanis’s pivotal book General Theory of Law and Marxism, this collection presents a comprehensive account and analysis of his key concept of legal form.

    Evgeny Pashukanis’s General Theory, born amidst the fervour of the first socialist revolution, remains still a crucial reference point in Marxist theories of the law and critical legal theory. Its theoretical depth paved the way for new understandings of the relationship between Marxism and the law. Its crucial virtue continues to be, even after a century, the ability to articulate epochal concerns in the context of a socialist revolution that turned hitherto theoretical problems into dilemmas of practice. This book returns to Pashukanis’s main concept: ‘legal form’. Through this jurisprudential category Pashukanis aimed to grasp the dependence of the law on the economy, and at the same time, to enquire into the degree to which the law preserves its autonomy from economic relations. In other words, the legal form as a concept conveys both the law’s dependence on the economic sphere of exchange and its greatest inherent specificity: the way it translates economic relations into its proper language and set of legal/ideological constructs. The contributions to this volume provide a range of perspectives on how the concept of legal form has been developed and reinterpreted.

    Including the first English translation of Pashukanis’s essay, ‘Hegel, State and Law’, this collection will be of considerable interest to scholars and students of legal and political theory.

    1. What Was Pashukanis Seeking to Do With His Concept of ‘Legal Form’, and Does It Have Continuing Relevance?

    Bill Bowring


    2. Legal Form in the Soviet Dictatorship: Evgeny Pashukanis and His Interlocutors

    Anna Lukina


    3. On the Lithuanian Question: Contextualising Pashukanis’ Critique of the Legal Form

    Eric Loefflad


    4. Pašukanis on Ideology and The Juridical (A Note on The General Theory of Law And Marxism)

    Rafał Mańko


    5. Fetishes of Criminal Law: Reading Pashukanis with Hegel and de Lagasnerie

    Linda Lilith Obermayr


    6. Legal Subjectivity and Abstraction: Tracing the Past of the Legal Form

    Gian-Giacomo Fusco


    7. Exchange or Production?  Poulantzas on Pashukanis and the Legal Form

    Daniel McLoughlin


    8. Impossible Objects of Marxist Legal Theory of Law: The Limits of the Legal Form

    Cosmin Cercel


    Appendix: Hegel. State and Law (On the Centenary of his Death)

    Evgeny Bronislavovich Pashukanis



    Gian-Giacomo Fusco is Lecturer in Law at Kent Law School, University of Kent, UK.

    Przemyslaw Tacik is Assistant Professor at the Institute of European Studies at the Jagiellonian University of Kraków, Poland.

    Cosmin Cercel is Professor of Legal History at Ghent University, Belgium.