Trying to Make Law Matter

Legal Reform and Labor Law in the Soviet Union
Kathryn Hendley
Provides unique insight into the possibility of creating the rule of law in Russia

Description

One of the most pressing issues of our time is the possibility of rebuilding the rule of law in former Leninist countries as a part of the transition to a market democracy. Despite formal changes in legislation and an increased attention to law in the rhetoric of policymakers, instituionalization of the rule of law has proven to be an immensely difficult challenge. Leninist regimes destroyed popular faith in law and legal institutions and, like other transitional regimes, contemporary post-communist Russia lacks the necessary institutional infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the rule of law.

Trying to Make Law Matter provides unique insight into the possibility of creating the rule of law. It is based on Kathryn Hendley's pathbreaking field research into the actual practices of Russian trial courts, lawyers, factory managers, and labor unions, contrasting the idealistic legal pronouncements of workers' rights during the Gorbachev era with tawdry reality of inadequate courts and dispirited workers.

Hendley frames her study of Russian law in action with a lively theoretical analysis of the fundamental prerequisites of the rule of law not only as a set of ideals but as a legal system that rests on the participation of rights-bearing citizens. This work will appeal to law, political science, and sociology scholars as well as area specialists and those who study transitions to market democracy.

Kathryn Hendley is Professor, Law and Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Praise / Awards

  • ". . . this is the best book on Soviet law out there . . . it is a 'must read' for anyone interested in this subject."
    Law and Politics Book Review
  • "...[A]n impressive and informative research undertaking.... In sum, this is the best book on Soviet law out there and, though the prose is not electric, it is a "must read" for anyone interested in this subject."
    —William Kitchin, The Law and Politics Book Review
  • "Trying to Make Law Matter is a highly significant and engagingly written book on a subject of enormous importance—the pervasive contempt for legality in the Soviet system and the prospects for its development in present-day Russia. It should be read by specialists on contemporary Russia and will also be of interests to those in the fields of comparative labor politics, comparative law, and postsocialist transitions."
    American Political Science Review

News, Reviews, Interviews

Review Law and Politics Book Review | 3/1/1997

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 280pp.
Available for sale worldwide

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  • Hardcover
  • 1996
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10605-9

Add to Cart
  • $80.00 U.S.

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