What Is Russia? Diversity as a Way of Describing the Russian Empire

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Abstract. The article deals with a stable cognitive tradition, and the key category of the Russian Empire is diversity within its framework. The Canon of diversity as a sum turned out to be a long-lasting and influential narrative form. What are the limits of its influence and the limits of cognitive abilities? How is it manifested in modern humanitarianism? Are alternative mechanisms of reflection on Russia’s Imperial experience possible? These are the main questions of the article. The Russian Empire was, indeed, an example of the unique historical and cultural diversity. However, this diversity has acquired the traits of unity and order, or at least the illusion thereof. The history of the Russian Empire is not only the summary of the history of its diverse outskirts /regions, but also the history of managing diversity, and sometimes the history of its overcoming. The author comes to the conclusion that a promising direction of development of imperiliastic research are the study of connections between different parts of the Romanovs state, investigation of the problem of managerial ideas and technologies in the Imperial transfer, analysis of movement of bureaucrats from one margin and/or province to another, identifying formal and informal administrative practices, defining the role of public representatives in the fight for the choice of policies Empire on the outskirts.

Keywords: Russian Empire, multi-component states, historiography.

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