Legal Form: The Marxist Analysis of Law

by cominsitu


Legal Form – This collection of documents contains texts that (a) are widely recognized as “canonical” within the Marxist tradition, (b) grapple with legal questions from a standpoint informed by Marxist methods, (c) scrutinize a specifically Marxist approach to law in the context of a particular debate, and/or (d) examine the historical conditions under which a given account of Marxism and law was initially discussed. Some are exceedingly well known; others remain unread, or are largely forgotten. Save for the most relevant or “authoritative” figures, we have generally endeavored to include no more than one text for each author.

This collection is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive. As with any such collection, it is reflective of some interests to a greater degree than others. Nor, of course, is the collection intended to be complete, in the sense of remaining unchanged over time. We will continue to add texts on an ongoing basis. If you have suggestions for additional texts, please feel free to contact us.

(In compiling this collection, we have benefited from a list of references available on the Law and Marxism Network site. This site is edited by Susan Dianne Brophy and accessible here.)

Abel, Richard L., “Capitalism and the Rule of Law: Precondition or Contradiction?” (1991)

Akhtar, Zia, “Law, Marxism, and the State” (2015)

Althusser, Louis, On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (1995)

Anderson, Nancy E. and Greenberg, David F., “From Substance to Form: The Legal Theories of Pashukanis and Edelman” (1983)

Aronowitz, Stanley and Bratsis, Peter (eds), Paradigm Lost: State Theory Reconsidered (2002)

Arthur, Chris J., “Towards a Materialist Theory of Law” (1977)

Baars, Grietje, “‘It’s Not Me, It’s the Corporation’: The Value of Corporate Accountability in the Global Political Economy” (2016)

Bachand, Rémi, “Suraccumulation du capital, surproduction, impérialisme et droit international” (2015)

Balbus, Isaac D., “Commodity Form and Legal Form: An Essay on the ‘Relative Autonomy’ of the Law” (1977)

Bartholomew, Amy, “Should a Marxist Believe in Marx on Rights?” (1990)

Beirne, Piers, “Empiricism and the Critique of Marxism on Law and Crime” (1979)

Binns, Peter, “Law and Marxism” (1980)

Bodenheimer, Edgar, “The Impasse of Soviet Legal Philosophy” (1952)

Bowring, Bill, “Rights and Wrongs” [responding to David Renton, “Do Socialists Still Have An Alternative Concept of Rights?”] (2013)

Bowring, Bill, “What Is Radical In ‘Radical International Law’?” (2011)

Boyd, Christopher M. J., “Can a Marxist Believe in Human Rights?” (2009)

Brophy, Susan Dianne, “An Uneven and Combined Development Theory of Law: Initiation” (2017)

Buckel, Sonja, “The Juridical Condensation of Relations of Forces: Nicos Poulantzas and Law” (2011)

Butler, William E., “Marxian Concepts of Ownership in Soviet Law” (1985)

Cain, Maureen, “The Main Themes of Marx’ and Engels’ Sociology of Law” (1974)

Carty, Anthony, “Marxism and International Law: Perspectives for the American (Twenty-First) Century?” (2004)

Casalino, Vinícius, “Karl Marx”s Dialectics and the Marxist Criticism of Law” (2018)

Cava, Bruno, “Pachukanis e Negri: do antidireito ao direito do comum” (2013)

Chakste, Mintauts, “Soviet Conceptions of the State, International Law, and Sovereignty” (1949)

Chaumont, Charles, “Méthode d’analyse du droit international” (1975)

Chimni, B. S., “An Outline of a Marxist Course on Public International Law” (2004)

Chimni, B. S., “International Institutions Today: An Imperial Global State in the Making” (2004)

Clarke, Simon (ed), The State Debate (1991)

Cohen, G. A., “Base and Superstructure: A Reply to Hugh Collins” [responding to Hugh Collins, Marxism and Law] (1989)

Comaroff, John, “Re-Marx on Repression and the Rule of Law” [responding to Martin Krygier, “Marxism and the Rule of Law”] (1990)

Cukier, Alexis, “Exploitation, marxisme, et droit du travail” (2016)

Davis, Angela Y., Women, Race & Class (1981)

Dean, Jodi, “The Question of Organization” (2014)

Dölek, Çağlar, “Privatization of Security as a State-Led and Class-Driven Process: The Case of Turkey” (2015)

Draper, Hal, “Marx on Democratic Forms of Government” (1974)

Draper, Hal and Lipow, Anne G., “Marxist Women versus Bourgeois Feminism” (1976)

Fuller, Lon L., “Pashukanis and Vyshinsky: A Study in the Development of Marxist Legal Theory” (1949)

Genovese, Eugene D., Review of Martin Horwitz, The Transformation of American Law, 1780-1860 (1978)

Giuliano, Mario, “La concezione marxista del diritto” (1948)

Gordon, Linda, “The Welfare State: Towards a Socialist-Feminist Perspective” (1990)

Grünberg, Carl, “L’origine des mots ‘socialisme’ et ‘socialiste’” (1909)

Grünberg, Carl, Sozialismus, Kommunismus, Anarchismus (1897)

Hampsch, George H., “Marxist Jurisprudence in the Soviet Union: A Preliminary Survey” (1960)

Hazard, John N., “Cleansing Soviet International Law of Anti-Marxist Theories” (1938)

Head, Michael, “The Passionate Legal Debates of the Early Years of the Russian Revolution” (2001)

Holt, Wythe, “Morton Horwitz and the Transformation of American Legal History” (1982)

Horwitz, Morton J., “The Rule of Law: An Unqualified Human Good?” [reviewing E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Actand Douglas Hay et al. (eds), Albion’s Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-Century England] (1977)

Hoya, Thomas W., “Marxism and International Private Law” (1985)

Hunt, Alan, “A Socialist Interest in Law” [reviewing Christine Sypnowich, The Concept of Socialist Law] (1992)

Hunt, Alan, “Law, State, and Class Struggle” (1976)

Hunt, Alan, “Marxist Theory of Law” (1999)

Ireland, Paddy, “History, Critical Legal Studies, and the Mysterious Disappearance  of Capitalism” [reviewing Ron Harris, Industrializing English Law] (2002)

Juillard, Michel, “Accumulation Regimes” (1995)

Juviler, Peter H., “Soviet Marxism and Family Law” (1985)

Kagarlitsky, Boris, The Twilight of Globalization: Property, State, and Capitalism (2000)

Kamenka, Eugene, “Lukács and Law” (1986)

Kamenka, Eugene, and Tay, Alice Erh-Soon, “Beyond the French Revolution: Communist Socialism and the Concept of Law” (1971)

Kelley, Donald R., “The Metaphysics of Law: An Essay on the Very Young Marx” (1978)

Kelsen, Hans, The Communist Theory of Law (1955)

Kennedy, Duncan, “The Role of Law in Economic Thought: Essays on the Fetishism of Commodities” (1985)

Kinsey, Richard, “Marxism and the Law: Preliminary Analyses” (1978)

Klare, Karl E., “Judicial Deradicalization of the Wagner Act and the Origins of Modern Legal Consciousness, 1937-1941” (1978)

Klare, Karl, “Lawmaking as Praxis” (1979)

Knox, Robert, “Valuing Race? Stretched Marxism and the Logic of Imperialism” (2016)

Koskenniemi, Martti, “What Should International Lawyers Learn From Karl Marx?” (2004)

Kouvélakis, Stathis, “The Marxian Critique of Citizenship: For a Rereading of On the Jewish Question” (2005)

Krever, Tor, “International Criminal Law: An Ideology Critique” (2013)

Krygier, Martin, “Marxism and the Rule of Law: Reflections After the Collapse of Communism” (1990)

Kutner, Luis, “The Human Rights of Karl Marx” (1979)

Leiter, Brian, “Marx, Law, Ideology, Legal Positivism” (2015)

Leiter, Brian, “Marxism and the Continuing Irrelevance of Normative Theory” [reviewing G. A. Cohen, If You’re an Egalitarian, How Come You’re So Rich?] (2002)

Litowitz, Douglas, “Gramsci, Hegemony, and the Law” (2000)

Ludwikowski, Rett R., “Socialist Legal Theory in the Post-Pashukanis Era” (1987)

Lukács, György, “Legality and Illegality” [from History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics] (1920)

Lukes, Steven, “Can a Marxist Believe in Human Rights?” (1981)

Lynd, Staughton, “E. P. Thompson (in memoriam)” (1994)

MacKinnon, Catherine A., “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory” (1982)

MacKinnon, Catherine A., “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence” (1983)

Macnair, Mike, “Law and State as Holes in Marxist Theory” (2006)

Maggs, Peter B., “Marxism and Soviet Environmental Law” (1985)

Mandel, Michael, “Marxism and the Rule of Law” (1986)

Marks, Susan, “Exploitation as an International Legal Concept” (2008)

Marks, Susan, “False Contingency” (2009)

Melossi, Dario, “Marxist Sociology of Law” (1986)

Miéville, China, “The Commodity-Form Theory of International Law” (2008)

Miliband, Ralph, The State in Capitalist Society (1969)

Morgan, Bronwen, “What is Right with Ideology?” (2002)

Negri, Antonio, “Rereading Pashukanis: Discussion Notes” (1973)

Neocleous, Mark, “War on Waste: Law, Original Accumulation, and the Violence of Capital” (2011)

Neocleous, Mark, “International Law as Primitive Accumulation; Or, the Secret History of Systematic Colonization” (2012)

Neumann, Franz L., “The Change in the Function of Law in Modern Society” (1937)

Nguyen, Duy Lap, “On the Suspension of Law and the Total Transformation of Labour: Reflections on the Philosophy of History in Walter Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’” (2015)

Norrie, Alan, “Pashukanis and the ‘Commodity Form Theory’: A Reply to Warrington” (1982)

O’Connell, Paul, “Law, Marxism, and Method” (2018)

Özsu, Umut, “Grabbing Land Legally–A Marxist Analysis” (2019)

Pashukanis, Evgeny, The General Theory of Law and Marxism (1924)

Pashukanis, Evgeny, Selected Writings on Marxism and Law

Poulantzas, Nicos, “Internationalization of Capitalist Relations and the Nation State” (1973)

Poulantzas, Nicos, “Law and Terror” [from State, Power, Socialism] (1978)

Powell, Stephen J., “The Legal Nihilism of Pashukanis” (1967)

Rasulov, Akbar, “‘The Nameless Rapture of the Struggle’: Towards a Marxist Class-Theoretic Approach to International Law” (2008)

Redhead, Steve, “The Discrete Charm of Bourgeois Law: A Note on Pashukanis” (1978)

Renner, Karl, The Institutions of Private Law and Their Social Functions (1929)

Renton, David, “Do Socialists Still Have An Alternative Concept of Rights?” (2013)

Rigakos, George S. and Ergül, Ayşegül, “Policing the Industrial Reserve Army” (2011)

Roth, Brad R., “Retrieving Marx for the Human Rights Project” (2004)

Russel, Stuart, “The Continuing Relevance of Marxism to Critical Criminology” (2003)

Sharlet, Robert, “Pashukanis and the Rise of Soviet Marxist Jurisprudence 1924–1930” (1974)

Sharlet, Robert, “Pashukanis and the Withering Away of Law in the USSR” (1978)

Spitzer, Steven, “Marxist Perspectives in the Sociology of Law” (1983)

Stein, David, “A Spectre Is Haunting Law and Society: Revisiting Radical Criminology at UC Berkeley” (2014)

Steinberg, Marc W., “Marx, Formal Subsumption, and the Law” (2010)

Stone, Alan, “The Place of Law in the Marxian Structure-Superstructure Archetype” (1985)

Stone, Katherine Van Wezel, “A Tribute to E. P. Thompson: Chronicler of the Dispossessed” (1994)

Sumner, Colin, “Pashukanis and the ‘Jurisprudence of Terror’” (1981)

Sundberg, Jacob W. F., “On Marxism as a Legal Practice” (1987)

Supiot, Alain, “Pourquoi un droit du travail?” (1990)

Sutherland, Kate, “Marx and MacKinnon: The Promise and Perils of Marxism for Feminist Legal Theory” (2005)

Sypnowich, Christine, “The Future of Socialist Legality: A Reply to Hunt” (1992)

Sypnowich, Christine, “The ‘Withering Away’ of Law” (1987)

Tay, Alice Erh-Soon and Kamenka, Eugene, “Marxism, Sociology, and the Theory of Law” (1985)

Tay, Alice Erh-Soon and Kamenka, Eugene, “Some Theses on Property” (1988)

Taylor, Owen, “Reclaiming Revolution” (2011)

Théret, Bruno, “The State, Public Finance, and Régulation” (1995)

Thompson, E. P., “The Rule of Law” [from Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act] (1975)

Timasheff, N. S., “The Crisis in the Marxian Theory of Law” (1939)

Tomlins, Christopher, “How Autonomous Is Law?” (2007)

Tubier, Dominique, “‘Some Lawyers Wreak Havoc …’: Jefferson, Marx, Lenin, Gorbachev, and the Self-Limitation of Revolutionary Constitutions” [reviewing Martin Krygier (ed), Marxism and Communism] (1997)

Tushnet, Mark V., “Marxism as Metaphor” [reviewing Hugh Collins, Marxism and Law] (1983)

Tzouvala, Ntina, “Continuity and Rupture in Restraining the Right to Strike” (2016)

Varga, Csaba, The Place of Law in Lukács’ World Concept (2012)

Vidal, Jean-François, “International Regimes” (1995)

Vincent, Andrew, “Marx and Law” (1993)

Vyshinsky, Andrei Y., The Law of the Soviet State (1936)

Warrington, Ronnie, “Standing Pashukanis on His Head” (1980)

Weitzer, Ronald, “Law and Legal Ideology: Contributions to the Genesis and Reproduction of Capitalism” (1980)

White, Ahmed A., “My Coworker, My Enemy: Solidarity, Workplace Control, and the Class Politics of Title VII” (2015)

Wróblewski, Jerzy, “State and Law in Marxist Theory of State and Law” (1976)