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  • «Алые розы Востока»: «панисламизм», ориентализм и шпиономания в последние мирные годы Российской империи. Разведывательная империя?

Article

«Алые розы Востока»: «панисламизм», ориентализм и шпиономания в последние мирные годы Российской империи. Разведывательная империя?

Шаги/Steps. 2018. Т. 4. № 1. С. 9-44.

The paper analyses the discourse on pan-Islamism (the perceived Islamic menace both to the ‘global’ European civilization and the integrity of the Russian Empire) in Russian imperial structures (especially, the Ministry of the Interior) during 1910–1914. The discourse is considered as one of the institutionalized ways of constructing Russia’s ‘own’ Muslim other (along with the foreign one) and, simultaneously, as construction of an ‘internal enemy’. The key question considered in the paper is why the discourse preserved its productivity and explanatory force in spite of its instrumentalization revealed in the correspondence between the center and the local authorities and inter-ministerial conflicts (analyzed, mainly, for Turkestan and Bukhara): it shows that the discourse used to be manipulated according to situational needs. The complexity of the discourse’s functions is suggested as an explanation of its force. Its Orientalism (where Muslims were seen as an organic cultural / racial whole) combined with conspiracy theory formed a channel for the spy-mania that would explode in the WWI years: the nationalizing, unifying trends countering imperial diversity made their common ground. Its instrumentalization was going on within the framework of the same myth. Yet in the interaction with the positive (but equally ‘Orientalist’) modeling of  the Empire’s ‘loyal’ Muslim subjects, ‘pan-Islamism’ tended to be reinterpreted as a ‘revolutionary’ political party, thus echoing the fears born in the Russian revolutionary context. Mass literature nourished the whole. Compensating for the frustrations of the eve of WWI, the complex seems to reflect the officials’ vision of their own role as alienated from the population of the Empire and having but the intelligence service methods for controlling and governing it, while the colonial and domestic political orders were tightly intertwined.