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    Yevgeniy Pashukanis, his law and Marxism: a general theory, and the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Germany

    Bowring, Bill (2017) Yevgeniy Pashukanis, his law and Marxism: a general theory, and the 1922 Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Germany. Journal of the History of International Law 19 (2), pp. 274-295. ISSN 1388-199X.

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    The subject matter of this paper is the moment at which Soviet Russia made its first and unexpected step into international legal relations on 16 April 1922, the Treaty of Rapallo with Germany. My focus is the role played, as a Legal Adviser, by Yevgeniy Pashukanis, who, in the West, has become the best known Soviet Marxist theorist of law. I start with the context for the Treaty of Rapallo, followed by a more detailed account of the Treaty and its provisions, drawing on contemporary accounts. I then turn to Yevgeny Pashukanis, his background and pre-World War I studies in Germany. I analyse in detail his central participation in the negotiation of the Treaty. I next turn to contemporary evaluation of the Treaty. Then I examine the more controversial question of the secret military agreement between Soviet Russia and Germany, whereby Germany was able to test new weapons and train military personnel secretly in Soviet Russia, contrary to the Versailles Treaty; and Soviet Russia gained the benefit of the latest German military technology. 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’s work as whole. With the exception of this text, Pashukanis was an orthodox Soviet legal scholar, adapting successfully, until he fell victim to Stalin’s purges, to changes in the prevailing theoretical and ideological direction of the USSR. He made a significant contribution to a wholly unanticipated diplomatic coup by Soviet Russia. 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.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Treaty of Rapallo, Germany, Soviet Russia, Pashukanis, Marxism, Stalin, Soviet Russian Diplomacy, Secret Military Agreement
    School: School of Law > Law
    Depositing User: Bill Bowring
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 11:08
    Last Modified: 10 Feb 2022 15:28


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