“Deception begins with trade . . .”: Vladimir Arsen’ev’s Economic Expertise and Challenges of Rationalizing Imperial Diversity in the Taiga
The article explores Vladimir Arsen’ev’s rationalization of the economic activities that he observed during expeditions in the Russian Far East, predominantly in the Ussuri region. It analyzes his categorization of the local population, which was derived from nonmatching taxonomies and included concepts such as nationality, religion, race, and subjecthood. Disentangling this categorization helps to outline the main contexts that influenced Arsen’ev, such as postwar political and military concerns, challenges of settler colonialism, and nationalizing empire. The article shows how Arsen’ev’s intertwined life experiences as a military officer and geographer, colonization official, ethnographer, and resource-conscious naturalist outlined the limits of his imagination and provided the ground for his intellectual innovations.
During the XVIth century Japan acquires Western geographical knowledge for the first time. The adaptation went on comparatively fast, and thinkers of the Edo period (1603 - 1867) started to offer their own view of the world. Unevitably different systems of knowledge were mixed, and also Japan was compared to China, India and Europe. As a result the idea of Japan's supremacy was supported in a new way. Nishikawa offered one of the most original explanations, which is compared to of the other thinkers'.
Since 2015, the Free Port of Vladivostok regime has been functioning on the territory of five Far Eastern regions. It offers a simplified customs regime and a reduction in customs duties for entrepreneurs, as well as tax benefits and an immunity from time-consuming audit inspections. The Ministry for Development of Russian Far East introduced this economic instrument along with the Advanced Special Economic Zones to create an economic environment that will attract foreign investment to these territories, foster grassroots entrepreneurialism, and stimulate international trade with the Asia-Pacific countries. However, the local stakeholders negatively assess the results of the Free Port’s functioning. Over the past five years, the regime has not been able to fully reveal its potential. This article presents an analysis of Free Port’s development and highlights the most significant problems that impede the implementation of the concept of the Free Port, including legal regulation, strategic contradictions, malpractices, and infrastructural restrictions. The study is based on the analysis of official documents and legislative acts, statistical data, and analytical materials published by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Far East Development Corporation, as well as sixteen semi-structured interviews in Vladivostok.
In the introduction to the archival publication of documents by Hans Kohn the editors point out that Ab Imperio had earlier engaged with the scholar’s legacy. Kohn’s lectures published in the journal were delivered in 1919 and 1943. The editors briefly discuss Kohn’s biography. Born in Prague, Kohn became involved in discussions of Zionism early in his life. He served in the Austro-Hungarian army and spent time in Russia (in southern Siberia) as a prisoner of war. The editors argue that his understanding of nationalism was shaped by his historical encounters. In particular, Kohn’s lifelong commitment to Zionism was a formative influence on his ideas about political community. Kohn’s early embrace of nationalism was connected to his hopes for Zionism and his search for a suitable political language for describing a national community. In 1943, Kohn, by then a professor of modern European history at Smith College, had behind him several years of life in Palestine, where he worked in Zionist organizations and studied the Arab world. He also carefully observed and reported on the rise of Nazism and Stalinism in Europe. Kohn’s lecture of 1943 reflects more distance from nationalism.
The first part of this book is a collection of essays by an international set of scholars, schedding new light on Lydia Ginzburg's contribution to Russian literature and literary studies, life-writing, subjectivity, ethics, the history of the novel and trauma studies. The second part is comprised of six works by Ginzburg that are being published for the first time in English translation.
Vico takes on paramount significance in the defined context, although his actual presence in Russian culture and politics is relatively small at that time. On Russian intellectual stage, he was rather an unseen character, though a very powerful one. In my research, I study these transitions from shadow into the light, and first of all those forms of Vico's philosophy of history that were most favored by Russian thinkers. Besides, I was very interested in drawing a "roadmap" of Vico in the Russian mind of that time, i.e. in showing and analyzing when and how his name and oeuvres become demanded, and what forms further actualization takes. Analysis of a great number of documentary sources of the 1800-1860s (the best part of which is archives) - memoirs, letters, opinion articles - allows for tracing his Russian intellectual itinerary.