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Regular version of the site

Article

Revolutionary Conscience, Remorse and Resentment: Emotions and Early Soviet Criminal Law, 1917-1922

Historical Research. 2017. Vol. 90. No. 247. P. 117-133.

The paper is an ‘emotional’ intervention in the field of early Soviet legal history: it provides a theoretical background on the role of emotions in the early Soviet legal thought and practice. After sketching the wider context necessary for an understanding of emotions in the specific setting of the courtroom, it charts three possible directions for applying the history of emotions framework to early Soviet criminal law and gives specific examples for each of them. It shows the influence of emotions on the administration of justice as well as discrepancies between the writings of legal scholars and the actual implementation of the new legal model. Finally, it discusses these findings in the context of early Soviet ideas about malleability and perfectibility of human nature, the emergence of the new Soviet person, and the transformation of the deviant and the social order.