Evgenii Bronislavovich Pashukanis

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pashukanis, Evgenii Bronislavovich


Born Feb. 23, 1891; died 1937. Soviet scholar and jurist. Member of the CPSU from 1918.

From 1920 to 1923, Pashukanis worked at the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. In 1922, together with P. I. Stuchka, he organized the section on law of the Communist Academy. The section was one of the centers of scientific Marxist juridical thought in the USSR. In 1927 he became a member of the Communist Academy and then a member of its presidium and its vice-president. In 1931 he became director of the Institute of Soviet Construction and Law of the Communist Academy, and in 1936 deputy people’s commissar of justice of the USSR.

Pashukanis was the author of scholarly works on the general theory of law, on state and international law, and on the history of law and political doctrines. His chief work, Marxism and a General Theory of Law (An Attempt at a Criticism of Fundamental Juridical Concepts), was published in 1924. This book presented a Marxist interpretation of the most important legal categories, gave a critical analysis of bourgeois law and legal theory, and stressed the futility of attempts to consider law without reference to class relationships and the economic conditions of social development. At the same time, Pashukanis’ works contained a number of erroneous positions, such as an underestimation of the role of law in socialist society; this fact has been pointed out in Soviet juridical writings.


Imperializm i kolonial’naia politika. Moscow, 1928.
Sovetskii gosudarstvennyi apparat v bor’be s biurokratizmom. Moscow, 1929.
Uchenie o gosudarvstve i prave. Leningrad, 1932.
Ocherki po mezhdunarodnomu pravu. Moscow, 1935.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.