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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1197762
 
 

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Reclassifying Russian Law: Mechanisms, Outcomes, and Solutions for an Overly Politicized Field


William Partlett


Columbia University Law School

July 7, 2010

Columbia Journal of Eastern European Law, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2008

Abstract:     
This Article will demonstrate how, throughout the 20th century, American scholarship on Russian law has not progressed as a steady accumulation of facts, but instead has been driven by changing American political anxieties and hopes regarding Russia's political place in the world. Although such politicization might have been excusable when Russia lay closed to the West, it is unacceptable today, as there are now unprecedented opportunities to engage in empirical research on Russian law.

To facilitate a more empirical and accurate understanding of Russian law, this Article will propose the creation of an ideal type model for Russian law that will operate much the way the civil law and common law ideal types do in classifying and comparing Western European and North American legal systems. Scholars should begin the construction of this ideal type by exploring whether Russian law is sufficiently different from the civil law family to merit another ideal type. This ideal type approach will normalize our understanding of Russian law, encouraging us to ask the same questions of Russia's legal system as we do of other European legal systems. Such normalization will also help us better understand contentious debates surrounding Russian law, including whether it is a Western style legal system, the effectiveness of rule of law promotion, and suitability of western legal transplants in the region.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: comparative law, Russian law, law and development, methodology

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Date posted: August 5, 2008 ; Last revised: July 7, 2010

Suggested Citation

Partlett, William, Reclassifying Russian Law: Mechanisms, Outcomes, and Solutions for an Overly Politicized Field (July 7, 2010). Columbia Journal of Eastern European Law, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1197762

Contact Information

William Partlett (Contact Author)
Columbia University Law School ( email )
Jerome Greene Hall
435 West 116th St.
New York, NY 10027
United States
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