Historical imagination is centered on the decline and fall of empires in modern history. The notion of imperial transformation invites us to critically think about teleologies of transition from empire to nation. This talk situates the Russian political reform and parliamentary experience in the global transformation of political life under the challenge of imperial diversity and mass politics. The focus is on the history of the constitutional and political reform in Russia and Grand Duchy of Finland the reveals the conflict of political imaginaries centered on sovereignty and citizenship.
Alexander M. Semyonov, Ph.D. is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg. He is a co-founder and co-editor of Ab Imperio: Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post Soviet Space. He edited and authored: New Imperial History of the Post-Soviet Space (Kazan: Center for the Study of Empire and Nationalism, 2004) Empire Speaks Out: Languages of Rationalization and Self-Description in the Russian Empire (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2009); New Imperial History of Northern Eurasia, 2 vols. (Kazan: Ab Imperio, 2017). Recent publications include: “How Five Empires Shaped the World and How This Process Shaped Those Empires,” Ab Imperio 4 (2017): 27-51 and (co-authored with Jeremy Smith) “Nationalism and Empire Before and After 1917,” Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol. 17, no. 3 (2017): 369-380