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Aleksanteri Conference







Law I / The Legal Dimension in the Cold War Interactions

The Cold War paradigm was one of struggle, excluding cooperation. The USSR based its ideology on its own socialist legal theory. However, during the 1980s, discussions also began to deal with convergence of “bourgeois” and Soviet legal scholarship. On bilateral bases, movements toward cooperation, if not convergence, had already been evidenced earlier, e.g., in the USSR-US cultural agreement of the 1950s. In the UK, the 1980s also saw a groundbreaking agreement between British and Soviet academic institutions resulting in academic visits and colloquia on a range of legal topics.

The first two presentations will deal with legal theory and legal cooperation, one as a tour d’horizon and the other as a country-specific one. But a primary element of the Cold War struggle was competition, not only in bombers and missiles. It also produced strong incentives for capitalist law to experiment with forms of modernization aimed at inclusion; one of which has been a strong welfare state.

The third and fourth presentations will be similarly arranged: one dealing with how capitalism attempted to improve itself during the Cold War, how the end of the Cold War removed incentives to give capitalism a more “human face”, and exploring these transformations in private law by the use of a common core approach to considering general trends through European legal systems; the other examining how the Cold War influenced Finnish legal culture, especially during 1960s and 1970s—an era of “radical reforms” which witnessed the birth of a strong welfare state—with particular reference to changes in power strictures in Finland.

Friday 30 October 13.45-15.45 Session 5