Litigation and Political Transformation
This article examines changing patterns of litigation in contemporary Russia, arguing that litigation in Russia challenge us to rethink the socio-legal categories in which litigation is usually analyzed. It claims that litigation in Russia needs to be examined in a perspective adapted to the character of the Russian governance system as a hybrid democratic-authoritarian polity, and it advances a framework for examining the politics of litigation in polities of this type. Notably, the article explains that in Russia litigation is deliberately stimulated by actors in the political system as a means of reinforcing state capacity and systemic nationalization. However, as high-ranking political agents rely on litigation for systemic purposes, they are also required to accept its transformative, norm-producing implications. Finally, the article draws attention to ways in which the case of Russia can illuminate the social and constitutional results of legal mobilization more generally.