Russian historiography - at least as it is reflected in history textbooks - has been invariably focused on the central state, to the power. The national historiographies of the peoples that were once part of the empire, on the other hand, concentrate on their own nation, and the empire for them is only a burdensome context in which a particular nation was "waking up", maturing and fighting for independence. Miller addresses the complex fabric of interaction between the imperial authority and local communities in the Romanov empire.Some of the questions that he seeks to answer include: How did the authorities structure the space of the empire? What were the economic relations between the borderlands and the center? How and why was the use of different languages regulated? How did the central authorities and local officials create and implement policies regarding different population groups? How did the experience, acquired in particular borderlands, influence the policies of the authorities in other borderlands, whether by borrowing administrative strategies and legal decisions or through officials who often changed their place of service several times during their careers?
How did the local elites and communities react to the policies of the imperial authorities? How did they uphold their special interests if the empire encroached on them, but also - how did they collaborate with the empire and how did they use imperial resources for local interests?
Alexei Miller is Professor of History at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
Introduction, Chapter 1. The History of the Russian Empire: in Search of a Scale and a Paradigm; Chapter 2. Russification or Russifications?; Chapter 3. Identity and Loyalty in the Language Policy of the Romanov Empire at Her Western Borderland: the Case of Script and Alphabet; Chapter 4. The Romanov Empire and the Jews; Chapter 5. "Official Nationality"? A Reassessment of Count Sergei Uvarov's Triad in the Context of Nationalism Politics; Chapter 6. The Empire and the Nation in the Imagination of Russian Nationalism; Chapter 7. The Testament for the All-Russian Idea; Conclusion; Select bibliography; Glossary; Index