Law provides the building blocks for both market economies and democracies. In the years following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a wholesale rewriting of statutes and regulations as part of a reshaping of the institutional environment of these formerly Communist countries.  The extent to which these reforms have taken root has varied.  This conference highlighted how the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have pursued legal reform and assess the role of law in the region.

The conference received generous support from Title VIII funding.

Event Sessions:

9:15am:  Registration

9:30am—11:00am: Panel 1: Russian Legal Reform in the Late Imperial and Early Soviet Period

Sergei Antonov, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harriman Insitute, Columbia University 
SWINDLERS AND FORGERS OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA: The “Jacks of Hearts” and the Birth of a Show Trial
Abstract | Policy Statement

Karen Weber, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, New York University
THE POLITICS OF RELIGION, LAW, AND FAMILY: “Mixed” Marriage in the Russian Empire, 1860-1917
Abstract | Policy Statement

Daniel Newman, Ph.D. candidate, Modern European History, University of California, Los Angeles
APPELLANT STRATEGIES AND JUDICIAL DECISIONS IN THE SOVIET CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: A Comparison of Embezzlement Cases from 1921-1923
Abstract | Policy Statement

Commentator: Cathy Frierson, Professor of History, University of New Hampshire

11:15am—12:30pm: Panel 2: Public Perceptions of Law

Marina Zaloznaya, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Iowa
DOES AUTHORITARIANISM BREED CORRUPTION? Reconsidering the Relationship between Autocratic Governance and Illegal Transactions in Bureaucracies
Abstract

Jordan Gans-Morse, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
GUNS, GAVELS, AND BRIBES: Firm Strategies for Securing Property Rights in Post-Soviet Russia
Abstract | Policy Statement

Commentator:  Peter Murrell, Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Maryland

12:30pm—1:30pm: Lunch

1:30pm—2:45pm: Panel 3: Fighting Crime and Corruption

Lauren McCarthy, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, Kennan Institute
LOCAL-LEVEL LAW ENFORCEMENT: Muscovites and their Uchastkovyi
Abstract | Policy Statement

William Partlett, Associate in Law, Columbia University
SOFT LAW, HARD AUTHORITARIANISM
Abstract | Policy Statement 

Commentator: William Alex Pridemore, Professor of Criminal Justice, Indiana University

3:00pm—4:15pm: Panel 4: Law and the Pursuit of Rights in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Sophia Wilson, Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Law, Society and Culture, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
HUMAN RIGHTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE POST-SOVIET WORLD; or How and Why Judges and Police Bend the Law
Policy Statement 

Lorita Ivanova, JD candidate, College of Law, University of Illinois, Champaign
RESTITUTION OF POST-COMMUNIST PROPERTY IN BULGARIA
Policy Statement 

Commentator: Suren Avanesyan, Senior Governance and Rule of Law Advisor, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, USAID

 

Speakers

  • Sergei Antonov

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Harriman Insitute, Columbia University
  • Karen Weber

    Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, New York University
  • Daniel Newman

    Ph.D. candidate, Modern European History, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Cathy A. Frierson

    Professor of History, University of New Hampshire
  • Marina Zaloznaya

    Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Iowa
  • Jordan Gans-Morse

    Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University
  • Peter Murrell

    Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
  • Lauren McCarthy

    Former Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar
  • William Partlett

    Associate in Law, Columbia University
  • William Alex Pridemore

    Professor of Criminal Justice, Indiana University
  • Sophia Wilson

    Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Law, Society and Culture, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Suren Avanesyan

    Senior Governance and Rule of Law Advisor, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, USAID
  • Lorita Ivanova

    JD candidate, College of Law, University of Illinois, Champaign