Principles for a Dialectical Materialist Analysis of Law and the State

Kivotidis, Dimitrios. 2021. Principles for a Dialectical Materialist Analysis of Law and the State. In: Paul O'Connell and Umut Ozsu, eds. Research Handbook on Law and Marxism. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 543-557. ISBN 9781788119856 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter is a contribution to the Marxist analysis of law and the state. Its main purpose is to set out the main principles for this analysis. After setting out the main characteristics of dialectical materialist analysis, these principles are discussed in the following order: First, law and the state abstract from and correspond to a specific socio-economic content. Second, they perform a class function in reproducing the dominant relations of production as well as the rule of the dominant class. Third, law and the state efficiently perform this function by being relatively autonomous. In outlining these principles certain categories which are essential for this analysis, such as the ‘unity of form and content’, the ‘relative autonomy of law and state’, the ‘class struggle’, and the ‘reproduction of the relations of production’, are examined.

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This is a draft chapter. The final version is available in Research Handbook on Law and Marxism edited by Paul O’Connell and Umut Özsu, published in 2021, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

The material cannot be used for any other purpose without further permission of the publisher, and is for private use only.

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30 October 2020Accepted
14 December 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

14 Dec 2023 16:04

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2023 15:53


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