Asiatic Russia: Imperial Power in Regional and International Contexts, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Asiatic Russia

Imperial Power in Regional and International Contexts, 1st Edition

Edited by Tomohiko Uyama


304 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Although the Russian Empire has traditionally been viewed as a European borderland, most of its territory was actually situated in Asia. Imperial power was huge but often suffered from a lack of enough information and resources to rule its culturally diverse subjects, and asymmetric relations between state and society combined with flexible strategies of local actors sometimes produced unexpected results.

In Asiatic Russia, an international team of scholars explores the interactions between power and people in Central Asia, Siberia, the Volga-Urals, and the Caucasus from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, drawing on a wealth of Russian archival materials and Turkic, Persian, and Tibetan sources. The variety of topics discussed in the book includes the Russian idea of a "civilizing mission," the system of governor-generalships, imperial geography and demography, roles of Muslim and Buddhist networks in imperial rule and foreign policy, social change in the Russian Protectorate of Bukhara, Muslim reformist and national movements.

The book is essential reading for students and scholars of Russian, Central Eurasian, and comparative imperial history, as well as imperial and colonial studies and nationalism studies. It may also provide some hints for understanding today’s world, where "empire" has again become a key word in international and domestic power relations.


"This volume will be of interest to anyone studying the dynamic historical accounts of Russia’s policies in the East, and particularly Central Asia, until the times of the Soviets." - R. Turaeva, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany; Slavonic and East European Review (vol. 91, no. 2, April 2013).

Table of Contents

Introduction Uyama Tomohiko Part I: Russia’s Eastern Expansion: Its "Mission" and the Tatars’ Intermediary Role 1. The Russian Empire’s Civilizing Mission in the Eighteenth Century in Comparative Perspective Ricarda Vulpius 2. Tatarskaia Kargala in Russia’s Eastern Policies Hamamoto Mami 3. The Russian Empire and the Intermediary Role of Tatars in Kazakhstan: The Politics of Cooperation and Rejection Gulmira Sultangalieva Part II: Taming Space and People: Institutions and Demography 4. Intra-Bureaucratic Debate on the Institution of Russian Governors-General in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Matsuzato Kimitaka 5. Asiatic Russia: Colonization and "Russification" in the Imperial Geography of the Nineteenth to Early Twentieth Centuries Anatolii Remnev 6. Empire and Demography in Turkestan: Numbers and the Politics of Counting Sergei Abashin Part III: Russian Power Projected beyond its Borders 7. Russo-Chinese Trade through Central Asia: Regulations and Reality Noda Jin 8. Muslim Networks, Imperial Power, and the Local Politics of Qajar Iran Robert D. Crews 9. Sunni-Shi‘i Relations in the Russian Protectorate of Bukhara, as Perceived by the Local ‘Ulama Kimura Satoru 10. The Open and Secret Diplomacy of Tsarist and Soviet Russia in Tibet: The Role of Agvan Dorzhiev (1912–1925) Nikolay Tsyrempilov Part IV: Asiatic Russia as a Space for National Movements 11. Muslim Political Activity in Russian Turkestan, 1905–1916 Salavat Iskhakov 12. On the Cultural Front Lines: Muslim Reformers and Communities in Late Imperial Russia James H. Meyer 13. The Alash Orda’s Relations with Siberia, the Urals and Turkestan: The Kazakh National Movement and the Russian Imperial Legacy Uyama Tomohiko

About the Editor

UYAMA Tomohiko is professor at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University. He specializes in the history of the Russian Empire and contemporary politics in Central Asia, and is the editor of Empire, Islam, and Politics in Central Eurasia (2007) and co-editor of Japan’s Silk Road Diplomacy (2008).

About the Series

New Horizons in Islamic Studies

The series New Horizons in Islamic Studies presents the fruitful results of Islamic Area Studies Project conducted in Japan during the years 1997-2001. The readers will find multifarious, useful achievements gained through international joint research with high technology of geographic information system about Islamic religion and civilization, particularly emphasizing comparative and historical approaches.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies