Mirrors of Imperial Imagination in Early Twentieth Century Russia Empire
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 chapter aims at giving historical perspective for the current university reforms in Russia by tracing the policies of the Russian State towards universities on different stages of Russian modernisation. It approaches ‘Russian modernisation’ as a series of multidimensional transformations of the Russian society through the last three centuries. Despite of being dissimilar in their appearances, these transformations had two important characteristics in common: they were prompted by the idea of catching up with the more developed West and initiated by the State. How did Russian authorities conceptualize the role of universities on each of these stages? What policies did they pursue? What problems did occur when they were making universities a tool of modernisation?
Again Russia has politically defined itself as an autocracy oriented toward modernization and camouflaged this time by quasi-democratic rhetoric entourage. For the third time in a century a similar configuration of power is restored. Contours of all autocratic power modifications including the Soviet one are close or even coincide – and this refers also to their actual cultural patterns not ideological fakes whether Orthodox, Communist or ‘democratic’.
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.
The author investigates how various themes, including mutual interaction, territory delimitation and key periods in Russian history are presented both in contemporary Chinese history textbooks for secondary schools and Russianist literature for wide readership that had been published in China during 1997-2008. The author emphasizes the peculiar perception of Russian history in China and considers it most important factor for creation the image of Russia in contemporary PRC.
The historiography of ‘high imperialism’ within the British and Russian empires forms the central focus of this chapter. The chapter first explores the relationship between nation, state and empire, and how the interconnection between each concept influenced the development of imperial historiography in the late 19th century in both cases. It then considers the key texts of two influential historians of the period, The Expansion of England by John Robert Seeley (1834-1895) and the Course of Russian History (Курс русской истории) by Vasily Osipovich Klyuchevsky (1841-1911), highlighting the similarities in their re-conceiving of their national-imperial narratives. In their most recognised and important works, both Seeley and Klyuchevsky strove to redefine the histories of their respective nations in such a way as to bring the imperial dimension into the foreground. In an age of socio-economic modernisation which encouraged the spread of nationalist and democratic ideologies, both historians explicitly challenged established historiographical traditions in their respective countries, which focused exclusively on the development of state institutions, law, and ‘high’ politics. The chapter assesses the extent to which each historian adopted a common approach to address the trichotomy of nation, state and empire. It explores in what ways Klyuchevsky and Seeley extended the boundaries of national-imperial histories and the extent that they successfully renegotiated the relationship between nation, state and empire, and how other concepts, such ethnicity, class, religion and gender impact on the two texts.
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.
“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.