The Soviet Police and the Rule of Law

  • Louise Shelley


During Gorbachev’s five years as a reformer (1985–1990), he launched perestroika. This effort to modernize the Soviet economy and transform the nature of Soviet society had the creation of a law-based state as one of its fundamental objectives. Gorbachev believed that economic reform was possible only if the state and its institutions learned to observe and respect the law. Central to this political and legal transformation was a change in the relationship between the citizen and the state. According to this perspective, individuals should not be compelled by the state but should voluntarily comply with legal norms. In return, the executors of state authority—the police and other law enforcement bodies—would be expected to respect individual rights.


Police Force Civil Liberty Internal Affair Legal Norm Party Member 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

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  • Louise Shelley

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