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Law and Informal PracticesThe Post-Communist Experience$
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Denis J. Galligan and Marina Kurkchiyan

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259366

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259366.001.0001

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The Illegitimacy of Law in Post-Soviet Societies

The Illegitimacy of Law in Post-Soviet Societies

(p.24) (p.25) 2 The Illegitimacy of Law in Post-Soviet Societies
Law and Informal Practices

Marina Kurkchiyan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the illegitimacy of law in post-Soviet societies. Using a social-constructionist approach, it suggests that those societies have established a negative myth of the rule of law. By the end of the first decade of transition most people had come to believe that everybody around them was routinely disobeying the law, so it was rational for them to join in whether they wanted to or not. This scepticism prompts people to rely on informal practices as substitutes for law. The chapter traces the origins of the negative myth of the rule of law back to the Soviet legacy, arguing that it has been reinforced by the destabilizing logic of post-1990 transition.

Keywords:   rule of law, post-Soviet societies, Soviet legacy

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