AbstractsPolitical Science

Marxism, revolution and law : the experience of early Soviet Russia

by Michael Head

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: PhD
Year: 0
Keywords: law and socialism; Soviet Union; history; politics and government
Record ID: 1059158
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/26540


The 1917 Soviet Revolution in Russia was an attempt to fundamentally reorganise economic, social and legal life along anti-capitalist, participatory and egalitarian lines. This thesis suggests seven criteria for assessing the early Soviet legal debates: 1/. Broad ranging legal debates 2/ The social and historical context 3/. The legal record of Soviet Russia 4/. The socialist opposition 5/. Classical Marxist legal theory 6/. The axis of the early debates 7/. The contrast with Stalinism. An introduction explains the parameters of the thesis. Chapter 1 examines the classical Marxist theory of law and the state. Chapters 2 and 3 review the revolution’s context: the pre-1917 legal record and the political physiognomy and dynamics of the 1917 revolution. Chapters 4 and 5 probe the legal record of early Soviet Russia, and Lenin’s views on law. Chapter 6 reviews the legal debates, while chapters 7 and 8 focus on the particular contributions of Stuchka and Pashukanis. Chapter 9 examines the impact of the Socialist opposition, most notably the Left Opposition formed by Leon Trotsky at the end of 1923. Chapter 10 draws some tentative conclusions. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)