Empire Speaks Out: Languages of Rationalization and Self-Description in the Russian Empire
“Empire Speaks Out” is a result of the collaborative international research project whose participants aim to reconstruct the origin, development, and changing modes of self-description and representation of the heterogeneous political, social, and cultural space of the Russian Empire. The collection offers an alternative to the study of empire as an essentialized historical phenomenon, i.e. to those studies that construe empire retrospectively by projecting the categories of modern nation-centered social sciences onto the imperial past. It stresses dynamic transformations, adaptation, and reproduction of imperial patterns of sociability and governance. Chapters of the collection show how languages of rationalization derived from modern public politics, scientific discourses of applied knowledge (law, sociology, political economy, geography, ethnography, physical anthropology) and social self-organization influenced processes of transformation of the imperial space.
Eugenij Anisimov notes the high level of research made by Tatiana Tairova-Yakovleva, in particular considering the pieces about Ukrainian history. He notes that the problem of treason by I. Mazepa can be interpreted more generally and the fact of treason undoubtly took place.
Alexander Besov believes that the book about Hetman Mazepa by Tatiana Tairova-Yakovleva focuses rather on teleology than history. However, he fi nds the way of the author’s interpretation of the «Russia-Ukraine relations» in late 17th - early 18th centuries quite mistakable.
Alexander Kamenskii thinks that Tatiana Tairova’s book is a serious attempt of constructing a scholar biography of Ivan Mazepa. In several cases she has managed to refute some myths in historiography. One may hope that the book will stimulate other historians to conduct further research. However, they will not be able to ignore Tairova’s conception.
A. S. Karevin considers that Tairova-Yakovleva’s book is full of numerous mistakes, contradictions and baseless conclusions. The drawbacks make us not to regard the book as established scientifi c study.
Kirill Kochegarov fi nds that Mrs. Tairova-Yakovleva’s book combine several interesting observations with unacceptable and controversial points. In generally the very idea of the study seems to idealize the Mazepa personality as well as his policy. The author also overestimates the importance of the so-called Moscow clauses, grossly exaggerates Mazepa’s participation in the Russian foreign affairs, and erroneously regards centralizing military administration measures of Russian government as large-scale administrative reform in Ukraine. Moreover, active role in Church reform of Peter the Great declared by Mrs. Tairova-Yakovleva Mazepa’s has not been proved.
Igor Kurukin: Despite the information on administrative reform of 1707 (s.322-330) given by the author, it isn’t clear, was the Ukrainian autonomy liquidated or not. There is a disputable question on what extend was Mazepa supported by the Ukraine people as well as cossack «starshina». Provinces being attached to Russia Baltic were able to remain independent for one and a half centuries. Being different by birth Ukrainian elite did’t manage to develop rules of corporate behavior and solidarity.
Plokhii Serhii: The myth of Mazepa as betrayer have been solidly examined in Mrs. Tairova-Yakovleva’s scientifi c and creative lab. The author has succeed in showing — and more carefully than her redecessor — the diffi culty of both personal and public, geopolitics, choice which Mazepa had to make. The book is, if it is a proper name, the most balanced judgment of the hetman I have ever read.
Chukhlib Taras. The violation of oath to the Russian monarch by Ukrainian Hetmanstate was interpreted by Ivan Mazepa and his government as tyrannical action of Peter the Great. Therefore, the hetman received the right to refuse from «the high hand» of tsar and look for another suzerain to maintain his vassal autonomy.
T. H. Tairova-Yakovleva finds this decision quite adequate and revealing us the logic of actions of the Ukrainian leader.
The chapter is focused on 1) the formation of historical memory about public politics and parliamentarism in the context of the anniversary of political reforms and introduction of the State Duma in 2006 2) the history of formation of the concept of public politics in Russia of the early twentieth century.
Article devoted to analysis the role and significance of Tatar-born Russian officials in gathering information about state and law of the Central Asian khanates – Bukhara, Khiva, Khoqand in the 18th-19th cc. on the examples of M.Bekchurin, M.Aitov and I.Batyrshin. All of them served as officials of the Orenburg Frontier Commission, two of them were diplomats in Bukhara and Khiva, last one contacted with informers from abovementioned khanates. The common feature for them was that they were Turks and Moslems. Firstly that fact provided Central Asian population’s sympathies to them (including favor of representatives of the ruling elites of the khanates) and gave an opportunity to gather more useful information. Secondly, as representatives of the Turkic-Islamic culture they could better understand and estimate the level of political and legal development of the Central Asian khanates and prepare impartial reports for their chiefs. Also it’s necessary to notice that their affiliation with Turkic-Islamic world didn’t influence on quality of fulfillment of missions by such officials: they tried all ways to contribute to realization of the Russian policy in the Central Asia and advance of the Russian Empire in this region.
The chapter is focused on exploration of the politics of comparison as it was practiced by the ideologues of the Russian Empire and imperialism at the beginning of the twentieth century. Special attention is given to the transfer of operative ideological frameworks from the British empire to the Russian context.
The article is devoted to historical continuity in the state governing. Issues of existing analogies in the process of forming of system and structure of executive bodies in Russia are considered. The special attention is given to a combination of branch and functional approaches to the organization of executive bodies at different historical stages. In the context of the presumption of "Ideally uniform government" questions of a parity of powers of monarch and ministers in the Russian empire and of the President and the ministries in the Russian Federation are mentioned.
Императора Александра I, несомненно, можно назвать самой загадочной и противоречивой фигурой среди русских государей XIX столетия. Республиканец по убеждениям, он четверть века занимал российский престол. Победитель Наполеона и освободитель Европы, он вошел в историю как Александр Благословенный - однако современники, а позднее историки и писатели обвиняли его в слабости, лицемерии и других пороках, недостойных монарха. Таинственны, наконец, обстоятельства его ухода из жизни. О загадке императора Александра рассказывает в своей книге известный писатель и публицист Александр Архангельский.