Ivan Sablin deposited An imperial community: Difference and inclusionary approaches to Russianness in the State Duma, 1906–1907 in the group Soviet and Russian history and culture on Humanities Commons 1 year ago
Focusing on the debates in the First and Second State Duma of the Russian Empire, the article argues that the imperial parliament was the site for articulating and developing multiple approaches to political community. Together with the better studied particularistic discourses, which were based on ethno-national, religious, regional, social estate, class and other differences, many deputies of the State Duma, including those who subscribed to particularistic agendas, appealed to an inclusionary Russian political community. The production of this new, modern political community was part of the global trend of political modernization but often departed from the homogenizing and exclusionary logic of nation-building. It relied on the experience of the composite imperial space, with its fluid and overlapping social categories. Two approaches predominated. The integrative approach foregrounded civil equality. It resembled other cases of modern nation-building but still remained attentive to diversity. The composite approach synthesized particularistic discourses with the broadly circulating ideas of autonomy and federation and, relying on the imperial politics of difference, imagined individual groups as the building blocks of a new differentiated political community. Both approaches stressed loyalty to the Russian state but borrowed from aspirational patriotism, seeking to rebuild it on new principles.