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Working paper

Instructions For Staff Officers Of The Special Corps Of Gendarmes In Russia (1826 – 1836)

Humanities. HUM. Basic Research Programme, 2014. No. WP BRP 45/HUM/2014.
This paper reconstructs the rationale and principles governing the work of the Special Corps of Gendarmes in the Russian Empire during the first decade of the reign of Nicholas I. An analysis of instructions given to police officers and of their feedback reveals an intention to create an efficient watchdog — an institution that would keep an eye on the population as well as control local administrative bodies. The article demonstrates the ways in which the police produced knowledge about the empire. This knowledge, along with the findings of institutional science, was to serve as a basis for a new concept of power and rational governance.