UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


The Provisional Government’s Legal Experiment in 1917

28 October 2016, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm

Kerensky War Minister…

Event Information


Room 432, UCL SSEES, 16 Taviton Street, WC1H 0BW

Dr. William E. Pomeranz

While war, economic collapse, and national disintegration pushed Russian politics to the extremes in 1917, the Provisional Government concentrated on legal process and procedure, the essence of law but not revolution. 

The Provisional Government’s legal strategy reflected both its liberal and conservative instincts, yet this experiment ultimately failed to resonate with an increasingly divided and disillusioned population.  This paper will address the Provisional Government’s attempt to mobilize the law in 1917, and how this policy – however flawed – represented a distinct alternative both from the immediate tsarist past and fast-approaching Soviet future.

William Pomeranz is the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C, and teaches Russian law at the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, Georgetown University. He holds a B.A. from Haverford College, a M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh, a J.D. cum laude from American University, and a Ph.D. in Russian History from UCL SSEES.  Dr. Pomeranz heads up the Kennan Institute’s rule of law program, which has conducted major conferences on the Russian Constitution, separation of powers in Russia and Ukraine, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, and the influence of the European Court of Human Rights on Russian law.  His research interests include Russian legal history as well as current Russian commercial and constitutional law.  

A seminar hosted by the UCL SSEES Russian Studies Seminar Series.

Convenor: Dr Philippa Hetherington