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    Zombie self-determination? Johannes Socher, Russia and the Right to Self-Determination in the Post-Soviet Space Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021

    Bowring, Bill (2023) Zombie self-determination? Johannes Socher, Russia and the Right to Self-Determination in the Post-Soviet Space Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021. Review of Central and East European Law , ISSN 1573-0352. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    Has there been state practice of the Russian Federation with regard to self-determination, since the collapse of the USSR in December 1991? This is the question posed by Johannes Socher. There is more to his question than might at first appear. In particular Socher is persuaded by what has been called the “Estonian School of International Law” , and Lauri Mälksoo, whose phrase it is. First, I explore what in my view is really good about Socher’s new book. I also emphasise his commendably wide frame of reference, drawing on German as well as Russian scholars, introducing many of them for the first time to an English-speaking audience. Second, I analyse some scholars, especially Fisch, on whom Socher relies, who proclaim the death of self-determination. Third, I delve more deeply into the question which Socher has posed for himself, which he makes quite explicit, and which colours what follows. I question the use he makes of the concepts of “sovereignty”, and “hegemony”, the second of which is made to bear more argumentative weight than is usual in texts on international law. Fourth, I outline Socher’s structure. I look more closely and critically at Socher’s seven Case Studies. Finally, I assert that the key to understanding the Russian attitude to self-determination in the years after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 is to be found in the extraordinarily hostile attitude of Vladimir Putin, towards not only Vladimir Lenin, but in particular the federative principle on which Lenin insisted in the first Soviet constitutions.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Depositing User: Bill Bowring
    Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2023 14:43
    Last Modified: 24 Jan 2024 19:18
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/52603

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