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Marxist Theory and Law: an Essay Review of Three Books

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image of Review of Socialist Law

The complicated interplay between belief-systems and legal systems offers matter of great interest to students in at least three disciplines: comparative law, sociology of law, and legal history. An important contemporary example of this interrelationship is to be found in the complex connections between Marxism, one of the world's great religions, and those legal systems which, as "socialist", claim prima facie to be based thereon. Exhibiting a diversity of viewpoints, three recent publications suggest reflection on this theme. Listed in the order of their consideration in this review, these publications include 1) an essay on the general theory of law and Marxism by an early Soviet writer; 2) a popular exposition of the Marxist conception of law, from the USSR Academy of Sciences; and 3) an empirical and historical study by a British scholar, specifically concentrated on Marxist ideology and Soviet criminal law.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cinncinnati Law School


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