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.”
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.