Starosolsky, Volodymyr

Image - Volodymyr Starosolsky

Starosolsky, Volodymyr [Старосольський, Володимир; Starosol’s’kyj], b 8 January 1878 in Jarosław, Galicia, d 25 February 1942 in Mariinsk, Siberia. Lawyer, sociologist, and civic and political leader; member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society from 1923. He was a founding member of the Moloda Ukraina society and the editor of its journal Moloda Ukraïna. In 1902 he helped organize the secession of Ukrainian students from Lviv University and the massive agrarian strike in Galicia (see Peasant strikes in Galicia and Bukovyna). He belonged to the External Committee of the Revolutionary Ukrainian party and was a leading member of the Ukrainian Social Democratic party. After completing his law studies in Vienna, Berlin, Graz, and Heidelberg he practiced law in Lviv and defended political activists (including Myroslav Sichynsky) in court. He was one of the organizers and the first president of the paramilitary Ukrainian Sich Riflemen society (1913). During the First World War he was a member of the Supreme Ukrainian Council, served on its Combat Board as liaison with the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen units at the front, and co-operated with the Union for the Liberation of Ukraine in Vienna. In 1918 he became a member of the Ukrainian Military Committee. In the fall of 1919 he was appointed deputy minister of foreign affairs in Isaak Mazepa’s government of the Ukrainian National Republic and served at the same time as a professor at the Kamianets-Podilskyi Ukrainian State University. In the 1920s he lived as an émigré in Vienna and Prague, and taught state law at the Ukrainian Free University in Prague and the Ukrainian Husbandry Academy in Poděbrady. After returning to Lviv in 1927, he reopened his law office and gained prominence defending members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. During the Soviet occupation he was appointed a professor at Lviv University, but by December 1939 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years of forced labor in Siberia, where he perished.

In his scholarly work Starosolsky advocated the sociological approach to legal and political developments. His chief works include Das Majoritätsprinzip (1916), Teoriia natsiï (Theory of the Nation, 1921), Metodolohichna problema v nautsi pro derzhavu (The Methodological Problem in the Study of the State, 1925), Do pytannia pro formy derzhavy (On the Question of the Forms of the State, 1925), Bohdan Kistiakowskyj und das russische soziologische Denken (1929), and the textbook Derzhava i politychne pravo (The State and Political Law, 2 vols, 1925).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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