198099 Saint Petersburg
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There is a paradox in the aftermath of the global imperial crisis in the region of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The Habsburg Empire which had been thought about as the katechon of future world of federalism broke into nation-states with regimes of accommodation and repression of national minorities. The Russian Empire which had been thought about as the future centralized nation-state transformed into a federation with layered forms of autonomy and decentralization. The exploration of this paradox begins with the critique of the image of the Russian Empire as a centralized and centralizing state and exploration of inclusive and differentiated governance and ways in which this political formation was reflected in political discourses of reformist and oppositional movements which in one way or another imagined the post-imperial order. The paper then traces the constitutional debates in the revolutionary contexts of 1905 and 1917 and assesses how these debates reflected local and global discourses of imagining the post-imperial order and how they were incorporated into the constitutions adopted on the territory of the former Russian Empire. The global imperial crisis which brought down the Qing, Russian, Ottoman, German and Habsburg empires stimulated imagination of post-imperial order not only in the named contexts, but also in the British, French and other cases. The circulation and synthesis of ideas fostered by the miscellany of the crumbling empires and the diversity within each of them produced a great variety of imaginations. The non-Soviet constitutional projects of 1917–1921 and the Soviet constitutions of 1918 and 1924 incorporated the experience of the Russian Empire and other imperial and post-imperial formations. The Constitution of the Far Eastern Republic, for instance, borrowed the concept of non-territorial autonomy from the Ukrainian Constitution of 1918, while the ineffectiveness of the formal right to territorial autonomy resembled that in the Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920. The multilateral transfers and borrowings, both from the Russian imperial and other contexts, resulted in the departure of the 1924 Constitution of the Soviet Union from the initial Bolshevik plans. Instead of establishing a non-national class-centered formation, it became a mere preamble to a multinational confederation to be developed by its sovereign participants, which included two federations.
This paper outlines the complexity of interactions between Russian Orthodox monasteries and fish resources of the Russian North in the White and Barents Sea basins. The authors consider the complete cycle of monastic fishing activities as a complex of routine practices of an organizational, managerial, and commercial character. They demonstrate that the monks developed the organizational structure and management system that crucially contributed to the transformation of traditional fishing practices into the market-oriented exploitation of the natural resources of the White and Barents seas.
We now know that the Iron Curtain was not an impenetrable wall but, rather, a porous imaginary boundary through which people, ideas, and goods could travel. This volume is a fresh attempt to look across two blocs to examine variations, similarities, and connections between what we used to call East and West. As editors Astrid Mignon Kirchhof and John R. McNeill explain in the introduction, the volume aims to challenge a traditional question about the East-West divide. It focuses on the environment and its connections to politics, culture, and society.
Since the nineteenth century, access to and the development of natural
resources became an important element of national and international politics. Resource
security emerged as an issue vital to national security; and resource competition and
crises gave rise to international tensions as well as to technological innovation and new
modes of transnational cooperation. This paper discusses ongoing collaborative research
activities in the Tensions of Europe network. Three broader themes are presented: (1)
perceptions and constructions of resources, resource crises, and resource futures; (2)
globalized resource chains and environmental transformation; and (3) managing crises:
technologies, expertise, and the politics of natural resources.
Focusing on the accelerated use of limestone as a building material in Russia, and government sponsored scientiﬁc studies of widespread limestone deposits throughout the nineteenth-century, this contribution investigates the process of transforming common rocks into measurable and valuable natural resources indispensable for actualizing industrial development on a national scale. Special attention is given to the production of a new body of expert knowledge on the speciﬁc properties, qualities and practical uses of raw stone materials, to the actors involved in producing this knowledge, and to their crucial role in forming a scientiﬁc support system for the mining and construction industries, which gradually developed an institutional hierarchy in its own right. One of the important points of the article is, on the one hand, to show that scientiﬁc engagement with the material was closely interrelated to ‘resource nationalism’ policies that became an inﬂuential driving force of material sciences institutionalization on the national scale. On the other hand, it is argued that the international circulation of knowledge, technics, and standardization of testing procedures also greatly inﬂuenced that process.
This article argues that the history of Russian constitutional and parliamentary reform in the early 20th century can be cast in a new light in view of the global transformation of political life under the challenge of imperial diversity and mass politics. The article points out that imperial diversity as a challenge to democratic government was not unique to the Russian Empire. The character of the Russian Empire was marked by peculiarities; it was shaped by composite and hybrid imperial space, which placed the challenge of imperial diversity at the center of political practices and imaginaries. The article traces the history of political reform in the Russian Empire in the early 20th century focusing on the reform of the Sejm of the Grand Duchy of Finland and the novel practices and political imaginaries of imperial diversity in the first and second State Duma. The exploration of the history of the constitutional reform in the Russian Empire of early 20th century demonstrates that rather than being absolute antagonists to representative government, Russian imperial politics and traditions of imperial sovereignty nested possibilities of compromise and redefinition of political solidarity in the space of diversity.
Keywords History of the Russian Empire, history of the State Duma, global history of parliamentarism, pseudo-constitutionalism, Russian liberalism
This article examines interconnections between politics and culture in the early Soviet era, using Leon Trotsky’s activities in the campaign for a new everyday life (novyi byt) in 1923 as a case-study. Traditionally, scholars pay attention primarily to Trotsky’s writings on literature and art. In contrast, this article shows the important role of Trotsky’s brochure ‘Problems of Everyday Life’ in the development of a new field of political communication that became the space for criticism of different political and cultural aspects of Soviet power and Bolshevik rule. Using archival and press sources, it shows how the campaign was spread both from below and above, and what were the reasons for its failure to become an alternative cultural revolution.
Ukrainian parliamentarism and constitutionalism have a long history. Its brightest episode occurred 100 years ago, in 1917–1921, when the Ukrainian activists tried to cope with the breakup of the Romanov Empire by suggesting various projects of its reconstruction. In this article, I argue that the history of these projects began at least half a century earlier, when a young professor of history at Kiev University, Mykhailo Drahomanov, started to reflect upon future reorganization of the Russian Empire into a parliamentary state. Being an ardent advocate of turning the empire into a representative democracy, Drahomanov still felt uneasy about unapologetic support of parliamentarism. Having embraced Proudhonian idea of anarchy or self-government, he realized that the existence of parliament was not a universal cure for all political ills of the Russian Empire, especially for the main one—extreme state centralization. Hence, his views of political reconstruction of the empire did not necessarily mean transforming it into the Russian Republic. It seems that a reasonable and reasoned monarch, who could turn the empire into a federal state with a wide local self-government, would totally fulfill Drahomanov’s ideas of future Russia. His enormous influence upon the pre-war Ukrainian intellectuals explains why only few of them seriously discussed an idea of Ukrainian state independence in 1917.
The paper examines the early history of environmental concerns in Russia. It focuses on a case-study – the debates about a potentially detrimental impact of deforestation on water regimes, which took place in the 1830s-1840s. It examines two sets of issues: the role of ideas about a growing scarcity of forest resources in Europe, and the actual state of forests in Russia that provided some evidentiary basis for these debates. It argues that these debates were possible at the convergence of several trends: an expanding role and objectives of the forest administration well-versed in European scientific debates of the age and at the same time a visible danger of deforestation in some regions of a strategic significance to the empire. The author also considers different expert cultures and evidentiary standards that could be observed during the debates.
Ethnographic conceptualism takes its cue from conceptual art and uses
artistic interventions as an anthropological research tool. The term
‘ethnographic conceptualism’ was coined to sum up the method of the
exhibition project Gifts to Soviet Leaders (Kremlin Museum, Moscow
2006) as simultaneously a reflection on the vast and complex economy
of public gifts to heads of Soviet state, a distinctly post-Soviet political
and cultural artefact, and as a tool for ethnography of post-socialism.
This article explores ethnographic conceptualism’s contribution to
performativity theory. I look at how it makes visible the tension between
what such projects perform and describe. In doing so, I use
ethnographic conceptualism as a vantage point to revisit the
foundational distinction of performativity theory between the constative
and performative statements (Austin). Drawing in this artistic and
research method, I redefine the performative, not as a domain or a type
of utterance that is distinct from the constative, but as an act of drawing
This chapter builds on the author’s previous work on the history of marginalized social groups, such as users of psychoactive drugs, female criminal offenders and GULAG prisoners. Taking the notion of ‘positionality’ as the point of departure, it traverses some of the methodological and ethical issues arising from the author’s experience in writing and publishing on such sensitive topics in the Russian context.
The article examines the first published ethnographic map of Ukraine, which appeared in Lviv in 1861. While carefully analysing new archival and published sources from both the Habsburg and Romanov empires, it puts this map into the wider context of contemporary Ukrainian national movement. The author argues that Russian Ukrainian activists of 1860s were unquestionably interested in the extent of Ukrainian national territory and had handwritten maps of Ukrainian national territory in their possession. Contrary to the conventional narratives that the 1861 map was drawn in Lviv by Mykhailo Kossak, it argues instead that the map could have been produced by the Russian Ukrainian activist, Mykhailo Levchenko, and was later transferred to Galicia for publication. Stipulating the need to take into account sources from both the Romanov and Habsburg empires together with studying both cartographic and textual sources, the article argues that similar studies should necessarily be located at the juncture of history of cartography and the intellectual history of mental mapping. Only such approach will provide an undistorted picture of a process of national territorialization.
This article discusses the problem of comparative study with digital and textual sources using the example of the Sound Toll Registers and Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti. Both sources contain statistical information on commercial ship voyages, which one is important for the history of maritime trade and commercial shipping of the Baltic region. But at the same time, the source’s logic and visual forms differ a lot. In order to introduce both sources’ potential to researchers, there is a brief description of the Sound Toll Registers and Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti presented. Because of differences in sources’ internal logic and visual forms researches have to compare it carefully, not to lose information or meet incomprehensible results. In order to avoid such dangers, I invite researches to try my approach to compare the Sound Toll Registers and Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti. My approach is focused on careful big data’s analyze and examining of statistical sample’s representativeness in time. This approach is based on comparable samplings of the sources’ data and case-studies. It was examined on commercial shipping in the port of SaintPetersburg in 1760 during the Seven Years War.
This book is dedicated to E.F. Kankrin, M.Kh. Reitern, and N.Kh. Bunge - finance ministers of imperial Russia, who have held their post for more than 40 years and have done a lot for the development of the Russian economy. Excerpts from the memoirs and diaries of contemporaries, journalistic and artistic works tell about them both as statesmen and as people. According to eyewitnesses, one can trace how the role of the financial ministry and its leader has changed throughout almost the entire XIX century. E.F. Kankrin (Minister of Finance in 1823–1844) led a successful struggle for a stable ruble exchange rate and encouraged the development of various branches of industry and trade so that their income would regularly fill the budget. M.Kh. Reitern (1862–1878), who held this position in the era of the “great reforms”, switched to a considered economic policy, stimulating priority financing of the most profitable industries. Finally, N.Kh. Bunge (1881–1886) had his task to prepare the conditions for a steadily surplus state budget. He looked at the activities of the Ministry of Finance in the general context of imperial politics, which was reflected in his “Afterlife Notes”, the latest edition of which is published for the first time in this book. The one also included notes by the art critic M.P. Kovalevsky, “The Powers That Hold”, vividly and bright depicting the Russian ministers of that time. The publication is equipped with detailed notes, an index, a glossary explaining special concepts and terms and contains the pasting of archived photographs.
The article analyzes the debate on free trade in the Amur Region in 1880–1910. It places the economic debate on
the porto franco system in the ideological context of a nationalizing empire. The use of the language of nationalism is
seen not as a reflection of internal national mobilization, but rather as a rhetorical tool aimed at enhancing political
arguments. The annexation of the Amur Region and the introduction of the Amur porto franco are put in the context
of the nationalist project. An analysis of nationalist rhetoric in public and managerial discussions about porto franco
demonstrates the reception, instrumentalization, and adaptation of nationalist rhetoric, as well as the search for alternative languages to describe the population and political space. Finally, the dynamics of nationalist rhetoric during the implementation of the Russian colonial project in Manchuria demonstrates, on the one hand, the active construction of the “Russianness” of the Far East and Vladivostok as opposed to the “alien” Manchuria, Port Arthur, Dalian, and, on the other, the rejection of nationalist rhetoric in cases where it conflicted with the interests of local historical actors. In general, the author demonstrates the variety of political imaginations in late imperial Russia.