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Yevgeniy Pashukanis, His Law and Marxism: A General Theory, and the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Germany

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The subject matter of this article is the moment at which Soviet Russia made its first and unexpected step into international legal relations. My focus is the role played, as a legal adviser, by Yevgeniy Pashukanis. I trace the tragic trajectory of Pashukanis up to his murder by Stalin’s regime, and conclude with an evaluation of the significance of the Treaty. It is my contention that the General Theory is not at all representative of Pashukanis’ work as whole. With the exception of this text, Pashukanis was an orthodox Soviet legal scholar, adapting successfully to changes in the prevailing theoretical and ideological direction of the USSR. The Treaty between two defeated and to different extents pariah powers was of immense significance, not only for the immediate survival of Soviet Russia, and its gradual integration into the international legal order, but also for the subsequent trajectories of both countries.

Affiliations: 1: Birkbeck College, University of London LondonUK


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