Legal Nurturing: the Educational Function of Law in the Soviet Union
Special Issue "The Soviet and Post-Soviet Law: The Failed Transition from Socialist Legality to the Rule of Law State", The Ideology and Politics Journal
28 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2021 Last revised: 10 Aug 2021
Date Written: May 25, 2021
This paper explores how the educational function of law assumed a distinctive form of “legal nurturing” in the Soviet state. Even though, originally, socialist education was meant to give the working classes more autonomy, it soon became to be used as a tool of control aimed to shape each citizen into a “New Soviet Man”. Law, both in theory and practice, was recognized as one of the tools for instilling these new values and habits, and the legislature, the courts, and the civic community were put at the forefront of this task. The essay concludes with a brief summary of how legal nurturing facilitated both social progress and political terror and a rumination on the legacy of Soviet legal nurturing in Russia.
Keywords: Soviet law, educational function of law, New Soviet Man
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