Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 December 2019
The Cold War had numerous effects on Soviet political transitions and internal affairs, but its impact on Soviet legal doctrine was underestimated and profound. As Hans Kelsen acknowledged: ‘Soviet legal theory adapts itself submissively to every change of the Soviet government’.
But how did Soviet legal doctrine and theory manage this task, and why did the Soviets embrace forms of liberal legalism at the height of the Cold War? This chapter answers the first question by showing how, in order to effect this ‘submission’, Soviet legal doctrine and theory adopted combinations of hard positivism, hermetic monism, indeterminacy in the service of national interest and an extreme liquidity of legislation during the Cold War.