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Redefining Empire: Social Engineering In Late Imperial Russia

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Chapter Summary

The dialectics of the complicated relationships between the languages of self-description by historical actors and the analytical models of latter-day researchers can be most vividly seen in the Russian public modernization campaign of the interrevolutionary decade of 1906-1916. Every major theme debated by the international reformer community found its prompt response in Russian progressive educated society (obshchestvennost'). Zubatov mobilized the workers, while Stolypin brought the entire countryside into motion, injecting considerable human and financial resources into its modernization. The dominant version of public - led social engineering in late imperial Russia was aimed at turning the population into subjects - members of the national compound. The major menace to triumphant social engineering in its democratic, public-oriented version of obshchestvennost&s; came from the very success of this movement and from the total failure of the imperial state to provide a durable framework for the emerging community of mobilized subjects.

Keywords: Imperial Russia; obshchestvennost&s;; Stolypin; Zubatov



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