Мифы и заблуждения в изучении империи и национализма
“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.
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 aim of the research is empirical testing of the most prominent modernist theories of nationalism. These theories view nation-building and national identities as an outcome of transfer from traditional to modern societies and differ with regard to what spheres of modernity are considered the most relevant to nationalism. The study uses the integrated database of the third, fourth and fifth waves of the World Values Survey to test hypotheses derived from major modernist theories of nationalism. Results of country-level regression analysis show that nationalism is closer related to general value sets, such as tolerance of deviant behaviour than political attitudes. Regionally specific theories of nationalism are revealed to have the highest predictive power for a country average level of nationalism. Theories posing nationalism as challenged by local and cosmopolitan identities are rejected by empirical evidence of their positive interrelation. The results imply that contemporary nationalism is different from that of the early modernity reflected in modernist theories and suggests less strict choices and more hybridization of multiple identities. Keywords: nationalism, modernist theories of nationalism, modernity, modernization, national commitment, multiculturalism.
The chapter traces the history of evolution of Russian liberal thought in the span of the 19th century and explores how Russian liberals conceptualized the phenomenon of imperial diversity and related to the context of empire in thinking about potentialities of progressive Russian politics. The author explores the history of importation of blueprints of liberal universalism in Russian liberal thought and the development of the paradigm of national liberalism in reposnse to the challenges of the modern empire. The author argues that the idiom of national liberalism was not the only one. A different paradigm was in existence that may be called imperial liberalism. The chapter finds out how this alternative paradigm helped Russian liberals assume a significant place in public politics in the late imperial period, when the odds of mass politics were against classical liberalism. The chapter introduces the author’s finding of the transnational genealogy of Petr Struve’s program of “Greater Russia.”