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Unpublished Paper
Through A Russian Looking Glass: The Development of a Russian Rule of Law and Democracy
ExpressO (2009)
  • Whitney R Cale, Washington University in St Louis

U.S. policymakers, scholars, and citizens alike, have failed to recognize the reality of Russian law and democracy today. Instead, they have embraced a distorted view that concludes that Russian leadership has “hijacked” Russia. This Article challenges this dominant view arguing arguing that a more nuanced approach to Russia is necessary. Specifically, Russia’s multi-faceted and storied history, and intensely fervent nationalism have formed a unique worldview that provides the lens through which to view that country’s understanding of the rule of law and democracy. It is through this lens that the Russia of today may be reconciled, because although Russian leaders’ recent actions may not necessarily comport with an American or western-style rule of law or democracy, such actions do not mean that Russia has abandoned the development of those core elements.

This Article argues that with a new U.S. administration, it is time to abandon the prevailing American-centric view of government, law, democracy and the relationship of leadership to the people, and instead, view Russia through a Russian looking glass. . . When the United States embraces this more nuanced approach it will see Russia’s current reform program for what it is—progress rather than retreat.

  • international law,
  • russian law,
  • russian rule of law,
  • russian democracy,
  • comparative law,
  • russian constitution
Publication Date
September 20, 2009
Citation Information
Whitney R Cale. "Through A Russian Looking Glass: The Development of a Russian Rule of Law and Democracy" ExpressO (2009)
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