Issue page

DOI: 10.47026/2499-9636-2023-4-59-65

Zakharchenko O.V.

Federalism in the legal views of S.A. Kotlyarevsky

Keywords: state-territorial structure, federalism, unitarianism, sovereignty, S.A. Kotlyarevsky

The purpose of this work is to study the legal views of the Russian scientist, historian and lawyer Sergei Andreevich Kotlyarevsky on federalism and his interpretation of a federal state's forms, the possibility of its implementation in Russia. Materials and methods. To achieve this goal, the works of S.A. Kotlyarevsky were used as the main materials, allowing to identify his scientific views on the issue under study, as well as the results of the author's comprehensive study of the scientist's socio-political and scientific-pedagogical views. The principles of the study were historicism, comprehensive and objective analysis, and critical evaluation of the material. The methodological basis was a set of methods of scientific cognition. Along with the general scientific dialectical method of cognition, the author applied historical-legal and comparative-legal methods. Study results. It is shown that at the beginning of the XX century, one of the problems under development in the legal concept of S.A. Kotlyarevsky was the form of state structure. The main theoretical provisions on the nature and forms of power distribution in states are considered. It is revealed that, depending on the degree of independence of individual parts, the scientist determined the classification of unitary centralized and federal type states. At this, state legal entities are identified directly in the form of a federation, unions as permanent unions with the introduction of contractual provisions into their national law systems and international legal associations of independent states (confederations). The scientist's views determined the possibility of transition to a federal type of state structure in Russia. Conclusions. The theoretical provisions on federalism developed by S.A. Kotlyarevsky were a contribution to the development of the Russian legal science of the state and law. Various forms of state structure were identified based on the analysis of various types of power distribution in states. The main criterion for their structuring was the methods of decentralization of state power and the management system. In the legal views of the scientist, the federal structure presupposes ensuring independence and equality of the entities that were part of the federation. The federal type of state power organization was considered by him as one of the options for implementing the principles of the law-bound state.


  1. Vysochaishe utverzhdennye osnovnye gosudarstvennye zakony [Highly approved basic state laws]. Available at: (Accessed Date: 2023, Oct. 14).
  2. Zaharchenko O.V., Ivanova T.N. Sotsial’naya spravedlivost’ pri sokhranenii dukhovnykh osnov: deyatel’nost’ i politiko-pravovye vzglyady Sergeya Andreevicha Kotlyarevskogo [Social justice while preserving spiritual Foundations: the Activities and Political and Legal Views of Sergey Andreevich Kotlyarevsky]. Cheboksary, Chuvash State Univesity Publ., 2019, 168 p.
  3. Kokoshkin F.F. Avtonomiya i federatsiya [Autonomy and federation]. Petrograd, 1917, 30 p.
  4. Kotlyarevskii S.A. Detsentralizatsiya i federalizm [Decentralization and federalism]. Nauchnoe slovo, 1905, no 7, pp. 73–80.
  5. Kotlyarevskii S.A. Konstitutsionnoe gosudarstvo: opyt politiko-morfologicheskogo obzora [Constitutional State: the experience of a political and morphological review]. St. Petersburg, 1907, 253 p.
  6. Kotlyarevskii S.A. Vlast’ i pravo. Problema pravovogo gosudarstva [Power and law. The problem of the rule of law]. Moscow, 1915, 417 p.
  7. Uchreditel’noe sobranie. Rossiya, 1918 g. Stenogramma i drugie dokumenty [The Constituent Assembly. Russia, 1918 Transcript and other documents]. Moscow, 1991, 160 p.

About authors

Zakharchenko Olga V.
Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Public Law, Chuvash State University, Russia, Cheboksary (; ORCID:

Article link

Zakharchenko O.V. Federalism in the legal views of S.A. Kotlyarevsky [Electronic resource] // Oeconomia et Jus. – 2023. – №4. P. 59-65. – URL: DOI: 10.47026/2499-9636-2023-4-59-65.