Abstract and keywords
Abstract (English):
The article deals with historical and legal problems related to the state and law development of the USSR during the period of socialist modernization. The authors believe that the constitutional reforms of 1936–1939 were part of the Soviet legitimization at the final stage of socialist state-building. The legitimization strategy consisted in the declaration of a new nature of statehood based not on the narrow social stratum of factory proletariat, but on the society as a whole. The essential changes in the ideological paradigm included the rejection of the former Marxist idea that the state naturally fades away after the socialist construction is completed. The goals of the legitimization strategy included a stable state power, a coherent political course, a new ideology to oppress the opposition sentiments, and a better international image. These goals resulted in significant changes to the constitutional legislation, including the norms that enshrined some principles of democratic statehood. The need to develop the Constitution of the USSR in 1936 arose from the intention of the authorities to prevent social tension, to ensure that the law corresponded to the real socio-economic and political situation, and to optimize the structure of public power. The country could not abandon the congress model of state administration because of the resistance of regional elites, which could have been overcome by a more liberal electoral legislation. The analysis provided a new interpretation of the Great Terror policy. The legal democratization after the constitutional reform, the repressions of 1937–1938, and the bureaucratization of public administration were links in the same chain that revealed a liberal-bureaucratic trend in the state and legal development of the USSR in the 1930s.

Soviet state, legitimization, liberal-bureaucratic tendency, electoral legislation, political repressions
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