Ivan Sablin deposited Constitution-making in the informal Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, East Asia, and Inner Asia, 1945–1955 in the group Soviet and Russian history and culture on Humanities Commons 1 year, 2 months ago
This chapter provides an overview of dependent constitution-making under one-party regimes in Albania, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, North Korea, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia during the first decade after the Second World War. Employing and further developing the concept of the informal Soviet empire, it discusses the structural adjustments in law and governance in the Soviet dependencies. The chapter outlines the development of the concepts of “people’s republic” and “people’s democracy” and discusses the process of adoption and the authorship of the constitutions. It then compares their texts with attention to sovereignty and political subjectivity, supreme state institutions, and the mentions of the Soviet Union, socialism, and ruling parties. Finally, it surveys the role of nonconstitutional institutions in political practices and their reflection in propaganda. The process of constitution-making followed the imperial logic of hierarchical yet heterogeneous governance, with multiple vernacular and Soviet actors partaking in drafting and adopting the constitutions. The texts ascribed sovereignty and political subjectivity to the people, the toilers, classes, nationalities, and regions, often in different combinations. Most of the constitutions established a parliamentary body as the supreme institution, disregarding separation of powers, and introduced a standing body to perform the supreme functions, including legislation, between parliamentary sessions, which became a key element in the legal adjustment. Some constitutions mentioned socialism, the Soviet Union, and the ruling parties.