Empire as a Context Setting Category
The article is an attempt of takign stock of the burgnoining field of empire studies but devising the framework of general challanges of historical understanding of empire of methodological nature. The main thesis is that studies of empire are heavily influenced by the visions and epistemes of modern social sciences which, in their turn, are woven into the performativity of nation. Thus the true understnding of empire is suggeted to lay in a radical historivization of this political and social phenomenon. The approach of historiziation is further enunciated in the article with the help of the theory of estrangement and with reference to the history of the Russian Empire.
The Inner Horde (Bukay Horde) was a part of Kazakh Little Horde which migrated to the Astrakhan province at the beginning of the 19th century. It caused disputes on its belonging during all its history: Orenburg authorities tried to control it as a part of Little Horde, Astrakhan ones – as a part of their province. Besides, the Inner Horde was created by a personal edict of emperor Paul I,therefore his successors were also interested in this khanate and issued their own acts for it. The author of the article gives the examples of collisions of different Russian state authorities with this small Kazakh khanate and analyzes the consequences of these collisions to describe problems of interactions of central and regional authorities on «national frontiers» of the Russian Empire in the first half of the 19th century.
The chapter traces the history of the sociological thought and institutionalization of the discipline of sociology in the context of the Russian Empire in the second half of the XIX the and the beginning of the XXth century. The authors' main focus is on the entanglement of paradigms of social knowledge and the problem of diversity of the imperial space. The chapter identifies several modalities of refraction and engagement of the imperial diversity in the Russian social thought and later the discipline of sociology: from the learned ignorance of the revolutionary unmaking of the imperial space, the colonialist exclusion of evolutionism and populism, and on to the redefinition of irregular developing society in early twentieth century versions of Russian sociology. The chapter also traces the global circuits of social knowledge and explores how Russian social scientists of the second half of the XIXth century partook in the invention of "traditional society" and how this concept was refracted through the contemporaneous politics of colonialism and imperialism. Finally, the chapter uncovers the origins of institutionalized sociology in the dissenting institutions of higher education: The Russian Higher School of Social Sciences in Paris and the Psycho-Neurological (Bekhterev) Institute in Petersburg; and explores how those institutions refracted the politicized differences of the Russian imperial space.
The article presents the analogy of the pre-revolutionary and modern interpretations of the role of ministries in the discussion of the draft law. The thesis about the fact, that the ministries were mandatory participant of the stage of discussing the draft law in the course of implementation of law-making activities of the legislative and law-consultative bodies in the Russian Empire.
The revelation that the U.S. Department of Defense had hired anthropologists for its Human Terrain System project—assisting its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq—caused an uproar that has obscured the participation of sociologists in similar Pentagon-funded projects. As the contributors to Sociology and Empire show, such affiliations are not new. Sociologists have been active as advisers, theorists, and analysts of Western imperialism for more than a century.
The collection has a threefold agenda: to trace an intellectual history of sociology as it pertains to empire; to offer empirical studies based around colonies and empires, both past and present; and to provide a theoretical basis for future sociological analyses that may take empire more fully into account. In the 1940s, the British Colonial Office began employing sociologists in its African colonies. In Nazi Germany, sociologists played a leading role in organizing the occupation of Eastern Europe. In the United States, sociology contributed to modernization theory, which served as an informal blueprint for the postwar American empire. This comprehensive anthology critiques sociology's disciplinary engagement with colonialism in varied settings while also highlighting the lasting contributions that sociologists have made to the theory and history of imperialism.