Russia's Legal Transitions: Marxist Theory, Neoclassical Economics and the Rule of Law

43 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2015

See all articles by Simon Deakin

Simon Deakin

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

John Hamilton

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR)

Date Written: August 7, 2015

Abstract

We review the role of economic theory in shaping the process of legal change in Russia during the two transitions it experienced during the course of the twentieth century: the transition to a socialist economy organised along the lines of state ownership of the means of production in the 1920s, and the transition to a market economy which occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. Despite differences in methodology and in policy implications, Marxist theory, dominant in the 1920s, and neoclassical economics, dominant in the 1990s, offered a similarly reductive account of law as subservient to wider economic forces. In both cases, the subordinate place accorded to law undermined the transition process. Although path dependence and history are frequently invoked to explain the limited development of the rule of law in Russia during the 1990s, policy choices driven by a deterministic conception of law and economics also played a role.

Keywords: Russia, transition, rule of law, economic theory

JEL Classification: K22, P12, P21, P26

Suggested Citation

Deakin, Simon F. and Hamilton, John, Russia's Legal Transitions: Marxist Theory, Neoclassical Economics and the Rule of Law (August 7, 2015). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 42/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2640915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2640915

Simon F. Deakin (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR) ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom
+ 44 1223 335243 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

John Hamilton

University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research (CBR) ( email )

Top Floor, Judge Business School Building
Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

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