The course will address the mechanisms of imperial growth and patterns of imperial rule, with a special focus on managing cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. We shall discuss mechanisms of transfer from indirect to direct rule and vice versa, mechanisms of nationalization of imperial politics, strategies of acculturation, assimilation and building national identities. Special attention will be paid to the Western borderlands of the Empire.
The course also addresses the role of inter-imperial relations and transfers in nationality politics. We shall look at the role of the WWI in mobilization of nationalism in the borderlands, and at the elements of continuity and rupture between the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. While looking at the Soviet period we shall focus on the role of ethnicity and nationalism in the early 20’s, politics of korenizatsia and the role of national factors in Stalinist “big leap” of 1930’s.