Imperial Order: Social and Ethnic Dimensions. Russian/Soviet Case. 

Western Borderlands/Eastern Marches of the Russian Empire/Soviet Union 


Alexey Miller 

Imperial Order: Social and Ethnic Dimensions. Russian/Soviet Case. 

The course examines the evolution of Russian imperial order up to the consolidation of the new Soviet system as the heir of the Russian Empire. It aims to analyze the patterns of growth, the principles of organization of the Russian Empire and their evolution in comparative context with primary attention to the European part of the State.  

The specific features of the Russian autocracy and of the social structure of the Russian core and of the borderland societies as a vehicle for territorial expansion. Social, ethnic and national identities and hierarchies. Assimilation - success and failures. Russification in comparative perspective. Nationalism and the Empire. Aborted modernization attempts and nation-building process. These questions are topical for the course. 

Lectures 1-2. Russia as an Empire and a European Power. Patterns of Russia's Imperial Growth. 

Required: *Mark Raeff. Patterns of Russian Imperial Policy Toward the Nationalities. In: Edward Alwarth (ed.) Soviet Nationality Problems. N.Y., L., 1971. pp. 23-42. 

Mark Raeff. Understanding Imperial Russia. N.Y., 1984. pp.173-226. 

*S.F.Starr. Tsarist Government: the Imperial Dimension. In: Jeremy R.Azrael. (ed.) Soviet Nationality Policies and Practices. pp.3-37. 

Geoffrey Hosking. Russia, People and Empire, 1552-1917. pp.3-41. 

*John LeDonne. Core area and frontier. 

John LeDonne. The Russian Empire and the World. N.Y., Oxford. 1997. pp.9-20, 347-362. 

Isabelle de Madariaga. Russia in the Age... pp.61-78, 215-238, 308-326, 427-454. 

Suggested: **Alexander J. Motyl. Thinking About Empire. In: Karen Barkey and Mark von Hagen (eds.) After Empire. Multiethnic societies and Nation-Building. The Soviet Union and the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Boulder, 1997, p.19-29.  

Bruce Parrott. Analysing the Transformation of the Soviet Union in Comparative Perspective. In. Karen Davisha and Bruce Parrott (eds.) The End of Empire? The Transformation of the USSR in Comparative Perspective. Armonk, N.Y., L. 1997, pp.5-12. 

Edward Thaden. Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710-1870. Princeton, N.J., 1984, pp.32-60. 

Zenon Kohut. Russian Centralism and Ukrainian Autonomy. Imperial absorbtion of the Hetmanate. 1760-1830's. Cambridge, Mass. 1988. p. 9-23, 191-209, 299-305. 

Lectures 3-4. The Social Composition of the Empire. Serfdom order. Institutions: Army, Church. 

Required: Jerome Blum. Lord and Peasant in Russia. Princeton, 1961. pp.367-442, pp.575-621. 

Raeff M. Russian Nobility in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Trends and Comparisons. In: Banac I., Bushkovich P. Nobility in Russia and Eastern Europe. New Haven, 1983, pp.99-122. 

Steven L. Hoch. Serfdom and Social Control in Russia. Petrovskoje, a Village in Tambov. Chicago and London. 1986, pp.65-191. 

Teodor Shanin. Russia as a " Developing Society". Vol.1, London, 1985, pp.66-103, 150-174. 

Alexander Gerschenkron. Europe in the Russian Mirror. Cambridge, 1970, pp. 62-129. 

Suggested: Isabelle de Madariaga. Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great. London, 1981. pp.277-307, 521-548. 

John Le Donne. The Formation of the Russian Political Order. N.Y., 1991. 

Jones R.E. The Emancipation of Russian Nobility. Princeton, 1973. 

Lecture 5. Ethnic and social hierarchies in the Empire. 

Required: Andreas Kappeler. Masepintsy, malorossy, khohly... in: Miller A. (ed.) Russian-Ukrainian Encounter. M., 1997. (in Russian) 

John W. Slocum. Who and When, Were the Inorodtsy? The Evolution of the Category of "Aliens" in Imperial Russia. // The Russian Review, April 1998, p.173-190 

Suggested: Edward C. Thaden. Interpreting History: Collective Essays on Russian Relations with Europe. Boulder, 1990, pp.211-230. 

Mark Raeff. Understanding Imperial Russia. pp.173-225. 

Lecture 6. Russia and the West in Russian political thought. 

Required: Andrzej Walicki. The Slavophile Controversy: History of a Conservative Utopia in Nineteenth-Century Russia. Oxford, 1975. pp.394-457. 

Nicholas Riasanovski. The Parting of Ways. Oxford, 1976. pp.248-297. 

Liah Greenfeld. Nationalism. Five Roads to Modernity. (Part on Russia) 

Lectures 7-8. The emerging Russian nationalism and the Empire. Imagining the national core. Challenges of peripheral nationalisms.  

Required: Benedict Anderson. Imagined Communities... p. 67-111. 

Eugen Weber. Peasants into Frenchmen. Stanford, 1976. pp.IX-XII, 303-338, 485-496. 

Theodore R. Weeks. Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia. Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier, 1863-1914. DeKalb, 1996, p.110-130, 193-199. 

Alexei Miller. Russian-Ukrainian Encounter. In: CEU History Yearbook. 1999. 

*Paul Bushkovitch. What is Russia. (conference paper) 

Basil Dmytryshyn. Imperial Russia... pp. 196-201, 312-321. 

Suggested: David Saunders. "Russia's Ukrainian policy (1847-1905): A Demographic Approach // European History Quaterly, Vol.25, 1995, N.2, pp.181-200. 

*David Sauders. Mikhail Katkov and Mikola Kostomarov: A note on Petr A. Valuev Anti-Ukrainian Edict of 1863. Harvard Ukrainian Studies. XVII, N.3-4, 1996. pp.365-383. 

*David Saundes. Russia and Ukraine under Alexander II: The Valuev Edict of 1863. // The International History Review, XVII, February 1995, p.23-50. 


Lecture 9. The origins of political radicalism in Russia. 

Required: Teodor von Laue. Why Lenin? Why Stalin? Why Gorbachev? N.Y., 1993. pp.4-52. 

Daniel R. Brower. Training the Nihilists. Education and Radicalism in Tsarist Russia. London, 1982. pp. 146-229. 

Suggested: Pipes R. (ed.) The Russian Intelligetsia. N.Y., 1961. 


Lectures 10-11 . The economic and social change in Russia from 1880's up to 1914. Dilemmas of modernization. Revolution of 1905. 

Required: Stone N. Europe Transformed. 1878-1919. L., 1983. pp. 197-254. 

Leopold Haimson. The Problem of Social Identities in Early Twenteeth Century Russia. // Slavic Review, Vol.47, N.1, Spring1988. pp.1-20. 

Rieber A.J. Merchants and Enterpreners in Imperial Russia. Chapel Hill, 1982. pp.415-427. 

*Mark von Hagen. Russian-Ukrainian Encounter... 

Suggested: Weeks T.R. Nation and State in Late Imperial Russia. Nationalism and Russification on the Western Frontier, 1863-1914. DeKalb, 1996. pp. 70-92. 

Geyer D. Russian Imperialism. Leamington Spa. 1987. pp.125-150, 169-186. 

Abracham Ascher. The Revolution of 1905. Vol. 1, pp.152-167. 


Lecture 12. WW I and the Empire. Revolution, Civil War and National Movements. Class and Nation. 

*Mark von Hagen. Russian-Ukrainian Encounter... 

Roman Szporluk. The Russian Question and the Imperial Overextension. In Karen Davisha and Bruce Parrot (eds.) The End of the Empire?... pp.78-87. 

Ronald Grigor Suny. The Revenge of the Past. Nationalism, Revolution and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Stanford, California, 1993. pp. 20-83. 

Steven L. Guthier. The Popular Base of Ukrainian Nationalism in 1917. Slavic Review, 1979, Vol.38, N.1. pp30-47. 


Lecture 13. The formation of the USSR. Imperial heritage and novelty. Soviet society in construction. Politics of korenizatsia. 

Required:Richard Pipes.(ed) The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism. 1917-1923. N.Y., 1968. Or: Richard Pipes. Russia under the Bolshevik Regime. N.Y. 1993. Chapter "The Red Empire". 

Juri Slezkine. The USSR as a Communal Appartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism. // Slavic Review, 53, 2 (Summer 1994) pp.414-452. 

*V.Svoboda. Was the Soviet Union Really Necessary...  

Kaiser R.J. The Georgraphy of Nationalism in Russia and the USSR. Princeton, N.J. 1994. pp.94-151. 


Lecture 14. Big Leap and the "stabilization" of 1934-1936. Great Purge. New society. Reemergence of the Nationalist Discourse. 

Required: Nikolas Timasheff . The Great Retreat. N.Y., 1946. 

Sheila Fitzpatrick. Stalin and the Making of the New Elite. 1928-1939. Slavic Review, vol.38, Nr.3, 1979. (The same text in Sheila Fitzpatrick. The Cultural Front. Power and Culture in Revolutionary Russia. Ithaca and London. 1992. pp.149-182.) 

Kaiser R.J. The Georgraphy of Nationalism in Russia and the USSR. Princeton, N.J. 1994. pp.135 -151. 

Suggested: J.Arch Getty & Roberta T.Manning (eds) Stalinist Terror. New Perspectives. Cambridge, 1993. 


Lecture 15. Instead of Conclusion. WWII and the Nationality Problems. The post-Stalinist transformation of the society. The emancipation of Nomenclatura. The dissolution of the USSR.