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Article

Imperial parliament for a hybrid empire: Representative experiments in early 20th century Russian Empire

Journal of Eurasian Studies. 2020. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 30-39.

This article argues that the history of Russian constitutional and parliamentary reform in the early 20th century can be cast in a new light in view of the global transformation of political life under the challenge of imperial diversity and mass politics. The article points out that imperial diversity as a challenge to democratic government was not unique to the Russian Empire. The character of the Russian Empire was marked by peculiarities; it was shaped by composite and hybrid imperial space, which placed the challenge of imperial diversity at the center of political practices and imaginaries. The article traces the history of political reform in the Russian Empire in the early 20th century focusing on the reform of the Sejm of the Grand Duchy of Finland and the novel practices and political imaginaries of imperial diversity in the first and second State Duma. The exploration of the history of the constitutional reform in the Russian Empire of early 20th century demonstrates that rather than being absolute antagonists to representative government, Russian imperial politics and traditions of imperial sovereignty nested possibilities of compromise and redefinition of political solidarity in the space of diversity.

Keywords History of the Russian Empirehistory of the State Dumaglobal history of parliamentarismpseudo-constitutionalismRussian liberalism