A New Routledge Series
Routledge, the world's leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences, launches a new series on Imperial Hisrory: Imperial Transformations – Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet History. Series' editors are the Head of the Working group of the International Research Project "Comparative Historical Studies of Empire and Nationalism" Professor Alexander Semyonov, and the Head of the Project Professor Ronald G.Suny.
The first book to be published within the series is Ivan Sablin's "The Rise and Fall of Russia's Far Eastern Republic, 1905-22 Nationalisms, Imperialisms, and Regionalisms in and after the Russian Empire"
Prof. Semyonov on the series' goals, mission and perspectives:
The history of empires as a form of great power politics and politics of diversity has recently been expanded to include non-European experiences with empire formation, transformation, and post-imperial trajectories. The field of Russian-Soviet history may be said to be the most ignored in the historiography of empire and colonialism, which has focused primarily on western European overseas empires. The research on the history of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union has grown dramatically in the past two decades and suggests new perspectives on global histories of empire, colonialism, and nationalism. This imperial experience of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union was situated both in Europe and Asia in historical geographic terms and combined European and extra-European historical features in politics and ideologies of empire. Yet is has often been treated in isolation, without sufficiently considering comparisons with other empires or episodes of entanglement between different imperial formations.
The proposed series will reflect the current and continuously expanding research on the history of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union as imperial formations and instruments of governing diversity on the Eurasian continent. It will prioritize the work of scholars who explore the history of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union in comparative and entangled history perspective and with the help of methodologies of global and transnational histories. By extending the focus from Russia and the USSR to the broader European, Asian, even global context, the historical experience of Russia and the Soviet Union can be seen to reflect the global trends in the history of imperial regimes and ideologies. At some moments, when threatened with crisis and collapse Russia borrowed imperial practices and blueprints from other empires; at other times Russia and the USSR pioneered new approaches to the problem of diversity, for example, the Leninist program of national self-determination and the formation of a federal union of national republics that influenced directly or indirectly politics in other regions. The series will provide venue for much needed scholarly publications addressing questions of comparison and connections between Russia and the USSR and other empires.
The title of the series stresses both empire and the dynamism in the history of empires. Unlike nation, until recently historians have viewed empire as given rather than constructed. The often-repeated statement on the longevity of empires in history (counting millennia and centuries) conjures up the sense of a point of departure and a bedrock structure. The antiquity and persistence of empire make it more real in historical thinking than a denaturalized, imagined, and constructed nation. The present series suggests to critically revisit the teleology of modern historical transition from empire to nation and to focus on ruptures, crises, reforms, and revolutions that marked the modern history of empires. Multiple imperial transformations were an intrinsic part of Russian and Soviet history. Russia’s empires counted Byzantium and the Chingizid rule, Muscovy and Peter the Great’s empire, Catherine the Great’s confessional state and the nationalizing empire of the last Romanovs, and, finally, the Bolsheviks’ World Revolution and Soviet empire. Acknowledging ruptures and crises in the history of the empire and putting them to the center of thinking about empire allows to pose in a new light the question about persistence of imperial sovereignty and diversity.
The series will encompass different streams of current historical research and welcome authors who employ different methodologies (social, cultural and political history) to understand the imperial past within the broad framework of “new imperial history.” This framework departs from earlier structuralist understandings of empire in Russian history and expands the history of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union to include the multiplicity of voices beyond the political center, including the non-Russian national movements, regionalist political forces, non-Orthodox and non-Christian confessions, non-elite subaltern social groups of imperial society; the complex character of religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity in Russia and the USSR, including the lived experience of diversity and of crossing boundaries in imperial society; imperial visions and ideologies of imperial politics; the production of knowledge about imperial space and diversity; the multifaceted nature of transition from empire to post-imperial order and nation-state, including the inheritance of institutional and legal frameworks from the imperial past and historical memory about empire.