The Rule-of-Law Factor
in INSTITUTIONS, IDEAS AND LEADERSHIP IN RUSSIAN POLITICS, pp. 159-83, J. Newton & Wm. Tompson eds., Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
Posted: 21 Dec 2017
Date Written: 2010
Political scientists rightly acknowledge the importance of the rule-of-law factor even if they do not often apply the tools of political science to its study. This essay explores approaches to analysing this important variable. The author identifies flaws in both the rule-of-law definitions advanced by Russia-watchers (when advanced at all) and the metaphors used to describe the normative approach to legal reform that these scholars advocate. He also examines facets of the rule of law that are particularly salient and important in a Russian Federation that purports to be (not merely aspires to be) a 'democratic, federal, rule-of-law state with a republican form of government'. Finally, he defends his own normative preference for a rule-of-law metaphor that dispenses with more common martial or instrumentalist figures of speech in favour of the image of a legal causeway that provides safe transit to Russian citizens through a thicket of state and private obstacles to the exercise of rights and protections of property.
Keywords: rule-of-law – Russia, Vladimir Putin - legal reform, metaphors, Council of Europe, criminal procedure, Robert Bolt
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