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This article examines the history of socialist collaboration in Comecon through the lens of a large industrial project in Soviet Siberia. It examines the construction of the Ust`-Ilimsk forest industrial complex which was conceived as a collective effort of six socialist European countries. On the one hand, the project formed part of the Soviet Union’s strategy of technological colonization of Soviet Eastern lands, and on the other, it aimed to enhance socialist collaboration and integration efforts through the exchange of material goods and expertise, as prescribed by the project agreements. The paper focuses on the interplay between ideological implications, national interests and material shortages when completing the project, showing the contradictory nature of socialist collaborative construction. It argues that the Soviet central government sought material resources for the construction from ‘brother’ socialist countries with an ideological emphasis on how important it was for further cooperation in the Eastern bloc. In fact, the project exposed difficulties, ranging from material shortages typical of state socialism and the predominance of national economic interests, with the result that this socialist project was compelled to also make use of Western equipment and expertise, transforming Ust`-Ilimsk from a socialist to a far more international construction site.
The article discusses the Soviet fate of Cubism after WWII.
is chapter examines the diering opinions between industrial and scientic institutions over the use of the waters of Lake Baikal in the context of Soviet development policies in Siberia, beginning in the 1950s. It argues that institutions and people experienced Baikal as a place of contradiction, clearly illustrating that Soviet industry posed the risk of harm to the natural environment. In dierent professional layers of Soviet society, Baikal became an arena of conict over water (and nature more broadly) and the lake’s own, natural ability to purify chemical waste discharged into the waters. Employing new archival sources, such as institutional and individual correspondence and reports, this chapter discusses the role of Baikal in the interplay between industry and environment at the institutional level and contributes to the scholarship on Soviet postwar environmental history.
Aleksandr Turbin looks at the ethnically diversified merchant communities of the far east of Russia, investigating the means with which Russian citizenship was acquired, and their evolution, within the dynamics of inclusion animating the Priamurye region during the thirty years preceding the war. He pays particular attention to the rhetoric of the discourse concerning the inclusion and exclusion of individuals on the grounds of local, national, racial and other forms of classification. To understand more fully the nature and role to be attributed to Russian citizenship, the author made a comparison not only of local or regional contexts, but also of global processes, by considering the relationship between elements present within the empire and by measuring them against those of other empires of the time. This approach reveals the constant search for alternative languages with which to discuss the relationship between sovereignty, political community and individuals, bringing into question a teleological narrative on the transformation of Russian citizenship.
Over the 20th century, there were significant changes in children's health and enormous gains in pediatric healthcare because of systematic healthcare development including public health interventions. This study reviews children’s morbidity and mortality at the end of the 19th century by examining historical medical records of the Children’s Clinic of Tomsk Imperial University (Western Siberia, Russian Empire). We reviewed the official books of the inpatient department`s records between 1893 and 1899 as well as outpatient department’s records for the one-year period of 1899. The study confirms that mortality due to infectious diseases remained in first place among all other causes.
Although nation and empire – as well as the organicist and universalist visions mirroring them – are usually put in opposition to each other, this article argues that the two can create synergistic alliances. The attempt of the Danish dynastic union proposal to Sweden in 1810 sheds light on the repertoire of rhetoric and arguments the state could harness to substantiate its potential to rule over diverse populations. First, the paper demonstrates how the trope of Scandinavian kinship was formulated in the Danish public debate during the transitional period, or what Koselleck calls Sattelzeit. Then, the article shows how this language was embedded into power relations and configured to reinforce the imperial aspirations of the Nordic amalgamation, meaning the fusion of the Scandinavian nations. The core sources I consult are the pamphlets published to advertise union-building and the documents stored in the folders of the Royal Archive in Copenhagen (Rigsarkivet).
Fazliddin Muhammadiev’s Dar on dunyo (In the other world), first published in Tajik in 1965 and later translated to Russian, Uzbek, and many other languages, is the only known fictionalized account of the ḥajj produced in the Soviet Union. Based on a trip made by the author in 1963, the novel provided the Soviet reader a rare glimpse into this sacred rite. Drawing on archival sources, contemporary responses, and the text itself, this article traces the origins and publication history of the novel, situates it within Soviet domestic and foreign policy goals, and analyses the text to see how the author tries to reconcile competing ideological priorities.
This article focuses on the rave subculture of St. Petersburg in the 1990s and demonstrates how new forms of psychoactive control and resistance emerged in the wake of the Soviet collapse. By staying sensitive to the material and corporeal aspects of these phenomena, it contributes to the socio-material studies of drug control and emphasizes that the physical body itself should be an important venue for drug research. In doing so, we build on existing literature that discusses bodies as information resources to detect drug use and identifies resistance strategies to increasingly technological drug control measures. We advance this discussion by suggesting that the psychoactive setting of rave in post-Soviet St. Petersburg gave rise to a highly particular yet notably elusive and difficult-to-define type of corporeality. On the one hand, this corporeality could be positively interpreted as a marker of resistance and belonging on the “inside.” At the same time, it could also be employed strategically by law enforcement officers to detect and prosecute drug-consuming individuals. Moreover, we propose to view this psychoactive “rave body” as deeply embedded in its spatio-temporal context—thus accounting for the influence of time and space on the materiality of drug control and resistance. In examining these dynamics, we draw on a wide range of sources, including memoirs, press materials, early Internet archives, publicly printed interviews, photographs, and video materials.
The introduction to the archival documents published in this issue of Ab Imperio frames the broad context of the political reform of 1905–1906 in the Russian Empire and highlights the imperial dimension in the elabora- tion of the first electoral law (the Bulygin Duma law). The authors explore the multisided and layered nature of political conflicts as well as divergent political imaginaries with regard to the institution of political representation in the ranks of the imperial bureaucracy. In particular, the text explicates the nationalizing and colonializing imaginary of social engineering that guided the work of Sergey Kryzhanovskii on electoral principles and mecha- nisms. That imaginary stood in contradiction to the vision and practice of imperial citizenship that was shared by more senior officials in the central government of the empire such as Count Dmitry Sol’skii and Count Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov. The concept of imperial citizenship can be traced to the Great Reforms of the 1860s, which created the universalizing framework of norms and institutions for diverse space and groups of population in the empire. At the same time, the political logic of the Great Reforms allowed the incorporation of imperial particularisms into universalizing norms and institutions. Analyzing responses to ministerial proposals of the electoral law by high-ranking officials of various imperial peripheries, the authors demonstrate how the institutions of imperial citizenship framed the campaign of information-gathering marshaled by the imperial center and how the language of imperial citizenship conditioned the approach of local officials to the phenomenon of political representation.
Several days after a failed assassination attempt on the life of the Russian tsar on April, 2 1879, a new regime of "permission to exercise the right to purchase and carry weapons" was introduced in St. Petersburg. Despite the fact that the first attempt on Alexander II's life occurred in 1866, also in St. Petersburg, it took thirteen years to make a radical departure from the previously unrestricted regime of access to arms in the capital of the Russian Empire.
In this article I analyze archival materials documenting how this new regime of weapons ownership was implemented. In particular, I am interested in the dimensions of locality and temporality in the practices by which imperial legislation introduced gun-control in St. Petersburg and Warsaw, the Russian Empire's most cosmopolitan cities. The archival documents that I rely on show that the gun control regulations that were intended as a repressive act of the authorities in reality unfolded as a process of negotiations and merciful exclusions. The imperial legal order's intermediaries reacted to the international challenges posed by emergent revolutionary movements, including the negotiation of the permissible restriction of subjects' rights. As a result, new practices of “public safety” were implemented as exceptional measures — both locally and temporally. This article sheds light on the imperial legal regime of gun control as a practice of ‘exception.’
This chapter serves a dual function, helping students of Tolstoy understand both the
legal contexts that influenced Tolstoy and contexts where his moral theory made an impact. In the first case, it will help students and scholars new to Tolstoy to make sense of his targets, that is, the references and allusions that appear in his works (for example, mentions of Russian law, of jury trials or of private property). In the second case, it will inform students about the enormous and charismatic influence that his writing had on practices and ideas of what we call today ‘popular sovereignty,’ ‘legal nihilism,’ and ‘nonviolent protest’.
Applying Fr. D. Turner's frontier theory and M. Foucault's concept of heterotopic spaces the author studies “other” spaces created by Russian railway men and Cossacks in Northern Manchuria in the late 19th – first half of the 20th centuries. Particular attention is paid to the organization of leisure in Harbin. The article considers two quite interesting spaces: the yacht club on the bank of the river Sungari and the hippodrome. The choice of these leisure spaces was based on a number of important characteristics. The purpose of this study is to analyze the spaces of the yacht club and the hippodrome as heterotopic spaces on the frontier territory. The author reaches several important conclusions about the basic principles of the basic principles of the creation and the functioning of these leisure spaces. Within these spaces, many cultural processes took quite different forms. The article provides numerous previously unknown facts about the development of yachting and trotting in Harbin.
Somewhat provocatively, I intend to reread this explicitly politicized autobiography through less political optics, in order to indicate which meanings, arguably, were important for the author. Approaching an analysis of My Life, one should emphasize its subtitle, Opyt avtobiografii, which was originally translated into English somewhat misleadingly as An Attempt at an Autobiography. This formulation is not coincidental; on the contrary, it is crucial for understanding the place of autobiographical writing in Trotskii’s way of thinking and writing. Moreover, My Life appears as one of the turning points and central nodes in Trotskii’s auto- and biographical narratives, which reveal continuity and comprehensiveness through their multiple evolutions. Although it was not revised in his later years, My Life should be read in this broad context of Trotskii’s writings. Thus, the first section outlines the variety of Trotskii’s attempts at an autobiography with a special focus on their background and preconditions. In the case of My Life, the aim of this chapter is, broadly speaking, to map out both its main controversies, but also to stress some marginal issues of rather individual nature.
We present a study of social effects of climate change as experienced by local communities, based on field research and analysis in Western Siberia, from southern taiga to tundra. The results of field anthropological research reveal different attitudes of local residents to climate change. We compare the key trends of climate change with the perspectives of local residents, based on memories, subjective experiences, and local environmental knowledge. Our results highlight a significant divergence of the subjective assessments of residents from objective data on the dynamics of changes in certain environmental elements. We explore how the human subjective perception of natural processes, their consequences and impacts, are influenced by such factors as: type of settlement, age, gender, level of education and how collective stereotypes and judgments merge information in attitude formation. We also address the need to reconcile observed climate change impacts and perceptions to enable decision-makers to engage more constructively with the local population to develop and implement adaptation.
This book offers new perspectives on the environmental history of the lands that have come under Russian and Soviet rule by paying attention to ‘place’ and ‘nature’ in the intersection between humans and the environments that surround them
The paper presents comparative discussion of the Russian and French historical experience of maritimization in the social, economic, and cultural spheres, and introduces basic approaches to this phenomenon. The paper highlights the importance of social imaginaries for the construction and development of maritimity - the combination of cultural, social and economic specificities, that support the representation and perception of a community as maritime.
Review of The Power of the Periphery: How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World by Peder Anker
This article examines Comecon’s scientific-technological cooperation via the lens of the so-called ‘direct contacts’ of Soviet industrial and research institutions and specialists. It emphasizes two particular questions: the place of institutional and technological inequality in the attempt to integrate socialist Europe; and the motivations of Soviet research and industrial institutions. The paper studies from a local perspective the way in which regional integration was to provide modern technologies to help both the bloc and the Soviet technological system beat the West. It demonstrates that technological integration of the bloc was complicated by institutional inequalities on the local level that contradicted the design and bureaucracy of cooperation that had initially been based on the principle of equality. As a result, in many cases, cooperation was not an opportunity for mutually beneficial technological development, but a formalized necessity and a source of individual benefits. It gave Soviet specialists motivation to see better techniques and higher working and living standards, which sometimes became an important incentive for cooperation.
Current research largely tends to ignore the drug-testing model that was developed in the “Second World” as an explicit alternative to the randomized controlled trial. This system can be described as “socialist pharmapolitics,” accounting for the specific features of state socialism that influenced the development and testing of experimental drugs. The clinical trials model employed in the “Second World” was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union, which was by far the most influential player in the socialist bloc during the Cold War. Based on extensive archival research, this article presents an empirical case of a late Soviet clinical trial as a pragmatic alternative to the randomized controlled trial model. It accounts for the divergences between the official model prescribed by the Soviet authorities and the messy realities of healthcare practice. It further outlines different factors that ultimately shaped how clinical trials were organized in Soviet institutions “on the ground.” Accordingly, this article presents a “real-life” history of “socialist pharmapolitics” and outlines the problems that this system faced in practice.
Archival research was conducted at the Russian State Archive of Scientific and Technical Documentation in Moscow. Archival files include scientific, technical, and registration documentation such as biochemical, pharmacological, and clinical descriptions of the experimental drug Meldonium, letters between various hospitals, research institutes and the Soviet regulatory body, as well as 26 reports of completed clinical trials. Manual content analysis was used for the interpretation of results.
This article presents an empirical case of a late Soviet clinical trial as a pragmatic alternative to the randomized controlled trial model. It demonstrates some key differences from the randomized controlled trial model. This article also highlights some of the discrepancies between the model that was officially prescribed by the Soviet authorities and the realities of experimental drug testing in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In particular, it notes some elements of randomization, double-blinding, and the use of placebo that were present in Meldonium trials despite being formally denounced by Soviet bioethics.
The Soviet model for testing experimental drugs differed from the Western one substantially in a number of respects. This difference was not only proclaimed officially by the Soviet authorities, but was for the most part enforced in clinical trials in practice. At the same time, our research demonstrates that there were important differences between the official model and the clinical realities on the ground.
In 1918, while Vera Zasulich was dying in hungry Petrograd in a small apartment crammed with baskets of rotting produce, Koni was giving lectures on ethics. Despite the abundance of publications on A. F. Koni’s distinguished service to jurisprudence during the era of the Great Reforms, the question of his motivation has still not been thoroughly researched. The existing historiography is devoted mainly to the professional accomplishments. His personal life has not been studied. In this chapter, we analyze variety of published and unpublished sources from Koni’s personal archive in order to shed light on the moral component of Koni’s vocation and its religious underpinning.