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Soviet Constitutional Crisis : Contemporary Soviet/Post-Soviet Politics - Robert Sharlet

Soviet Constitutional Crisis

Contemporary Soviet/Post-Soviet Politics

Paperback Published: 31st July 1992
ISBN: 9781563240645
Number Of Pages: 250

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Moving from the adoption of the "post-Stalin" Constitution of 1977 through its subsequent implementation under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko to the radical legal "restructuring" of the Gorbachev years, Robert Sharlet traces the gradual evolution of a nascent constitutionalism in the erstwhile USSR. Sharlet, a noted authority on Soviet law and constitutional development, demonstrates the gradual transformation of law from an instrument of Communist Party rule into the new "rules of the game" for nonauthoritarian political development. In effect, he argues, one of Gorbachev's most durable achievements may be his redefinition of Soviet politics into a legal idiom along with his relocation of policymaking from behind the closed doors of Party conclaves into the more open, emergent arena of constitutional government. In analyzing the politics of law from the Brezhnev era to the rise of Yeltsin, the author takes account of the "war of laws", the symbolic uses of the Soviet constitution, and even the fact that the leaders of the failed coup attempted to justify their seizure of power on constitutional grounds. Constitutionalism has sufficiently suffused Soviet public life, the book concludes, that most of the sovereign republics as successors to the former USSR, have begun designing their futures - to varying degrees - in constitutional forms.

Introduction: Crisis and Constitutional Reform in Tsarist Russia and the Soviet Unionp. 3
Understanding Constitutionalismp. 6
The Quest for a Constitution in the Russian and Soviet Pastp. 7
The USSR in Crisis: From Constitutional Reform to Political Declinep. 11
Brezhnev and the Soviet Constitution of 1977: Codifying De-Stalinizationp. 15
The Path of Constitutional Reformp. 16
Continuity and Changep. 18
A Soviet "Systems" Approachp. 21
The Citizen and the Statep. 24
Participation and Public Discussionp. 31
Constitutional Revision and Ratificationp. 46
The Constitution as "Magic Wall"p. 53
Epiloguep. 54
The Andropov-Chernenko Interregnum: Juridicizing the Systemp. 55
The USSR at the End of the Brezhnev Era: Diagnosing the Problemsp. 56
Interim Remedies, 1980-82p. 58
Andropov Takes Charge: Campaigning for Disciplinep. 62
Legislating for Discipline: The Andropov Recordp. 64
Andropov's Legacyp. 72
The Chernenko Recordp. 73
Demise of a Campaign: From "Discipline" to "Upbringing"p. 77
Epiloguep. 83
Gorbachev and the Soviet Constitutional Crisis: From De-Stalinization to Disintegrationp. 85
The Transition to Constitutionalismp. 87
The Dimensions of Constitutional Reformp. 91
Constitutional Traditionalismp. 98
The Politics of Constitutionalismp. 105
The Limits of Constitutionalism in the USSRp. 110
A "Constitutional" Coupp. 112
Epilogue: Constitutional Futuresp. 117
Notesp. 119
Readings for Further Studyp. 151
Chronology of the Rise and Fall of the Soviet System, 1917-1991p. 173
Name Indexp. 183
Subject Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781563240645
ISBN-10: 1563240645
Series: Contemporary Soviet/Post-Soviet Politics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 250
Published: 31st July 1992
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.32