Liberalism and the Rule of Law

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


While the general context and indeed the outcome of October 1917 speaks to the unlikelihood of a liberal Russia, this chapter will examine the various sources of law that were current. The multitude of laws and even war of laws did not mean that there was no respect for or understanding of the meaning of law. There was a rich contemporary literature in 1917, for example, that argued that the meaning of the February revolution lay precisely in the establishment of an advanced law governed democratic order, in which a previously ‘backward’ Russia would leap ahead of the more advanced liberal democracies. There were also competing interpretations about what institutions should be the origin of legitimate law in the Russian revolution to replace the collapsed autocracy. This was perhaps a natural and unavoidable consequence of a revolution taking place across the world’s largest land-based empire with its numerous national groups. Any consideration of the rule of law must adopt an equally broad view to appreciate the extent and scope of democratisation and the nature of a potential democratic alternative.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBloomsbury Handbook of the Russian Revolution
EditorsGeoffrey Swain, Charlotte Alston, Michael Hickey, Boris Kolonitsky, Franziska Schedewie
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781350243149
ISBN (Print)9781350243132
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Jan 2023


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