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Recommended Reading

trochev.jpgI have just finished reading the spectacular book “Judging Russia: Constitutional Court in Russian politics, 1990–2006” by Alexei Trochev, and wanted to take the opportunity to recommend that all those with an interest in Russia’s future pick up a copy. Don’t let the title throw you off – Trochev’s approach is not encyclopedic, but rather it is intuitive and conversational, and I don’t think I will be the only one who found it hard to put down. This is the very first in-depth study of how the Russian Constitutional Court has gone through drastic changes in the post-Communist period, while shedding light on critical legislative-executive conflicts that lie at the heart of legal nihilism. It doesn’t address all the questions that are out there (which would be impossible to cram into just one book) but it does provide a riveting exposition on the interplay between law and politics in contemporary Russia which rarely sees the light day. For those looking to get beyond the commonly broad generalizations found in many legal studies on Russia, this book stresses the fact that Russia is not alone in feeling its way through the confusing morass of post communism. It is clear that Trochev’s trenchant legal and political analysis comes from someone with no ax to grind, leading us into areas where few have ventured. I am currently in the middle too much work to give it a longer review – so for now, a recommendation will have to suffice. I salute this author [who is not a member of my family nor someone I have even met] for this rare accomplishment.