The paper analyzes the reasons of violence involving a high level of the risk of life among irregular troops – ethno-social groups possessing means of violence (elites or communities claiming the elite status). Besides, the author examines factors that influence preferring one of the two alternative strategies relating the interaction between irregular troops and the state power – rebellion or loyalty. The analysis is based on comparing two contrastive cases – the Cossacks inhabiting the Southeast Europe (“Wild Fields”) and the Cossacks inhabiting Siberia, in particular, the Amur River basin in the 17th century. The author considers the interaction of the above mentioned social groups of the Cossacks with the administrations of their states and neighboring countries (Russia, the Crimean Khanate, the Ottoman Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the case of “Wild Fields”, Russia and China in the case of the Amur River). Don Cossacks as well as Zaporozhian Cossacks initiated large scale revolts in the 17th century whereas Siberian Cossacks showed loyalty to the Czar's Government and even sacrifice and heroism defending the interests of Russian state, as was the case with the siege of the Russian fort Albazin in 1685 and in 1686–87 by the Manchu troops. The macrohistorical approach is used as the main research method. The sources of hypothetical explanations are theories of the impact of the environment on thought and behavior of individuals and their communities, structural-demographic theory and the theory of exchanges. The analysis has shown that violence involving a high level of the risk of life among irregular troops is due to the impact of several factors of geopolitical, institutional and demographic origin. First, the competition between several states for the sustainable control over disputed areas when none of the competing states is able to establish this control creates “frontiers” – territories with undefined borders characterized by the deficit of the monopoly on violence and the lack of state institutions. These regions became attractive for individuals possessing the means of violence. Second, increasing competition on geopolitical markets as well as growing dependence of Cossacks wellbeing on the payments from state treasury motivate them to demonstrate their fight skills, courage, persistence as a kind of bargaining with the government for salary and recognition of their status as state servants. The strategy of rebellion was used when the irregular troops were able to build coalitions with others social groups whereas the strategy of loyalty was chosen in case of lacking potential allies.
The authors of the article set a task to identify the extent to which Eurasian ideology has influenced G. V. Vernadsky scientific research. In the 20 – 30s, Vernadsky acted as a historian trying to scientifically justify the Eurasian view of Russian history and as an innovator, creating a new composition of the historical narrative, a new style of historical writing. Two of his works: “Outlines of the History of Russia” (1927) and “The Experience of the History of Eurasia from the Half of the VI Century to the Present Time” (1934) had the obvious purpose to break with the national tradition of history and develop a new concept of Russian history in the spirit of Eurasianism. But both attempts failed. In “Outlines of the History of Russia” the basis of the periodization of Russian history (which he considered as a part of the Eurasian history) Vernadsky considered as “the fight of forest and steppe” There can be an illusion that he borrowed this concept from the Russian historian S. M. Solovyov. But Vernadsky’s concept is different. For Solovyov the fighting of forest and steppe is important, but it is peripheral to the story of one of the stages of Russian history. Vernadsky also puts this concept in the spotlight, thereby setting clear criteria for the selection of historical material on the degree of importance. As a result, all the huge historical material that characterizes the political, socio-cultural and historical development of Russia moved partially to the periphery of the historical narrative, and most of all fell out of it. The most successful and innovative was the section of the book devoted to the Mongolian period of Russian history. Here, Vernadsky used the technique of shifting the focus of the narrative, which allowed him to cover historical events from two points of view: as they were seen from the center of the Mongolian Empire and as they were perceived from the Russian periphery. Due to this, a “holographic” vision of historical events was created, which allowed to deepen their understanding. In the work “The Experience of the History of Eurasia...” Vernadsky attempted to present the history of internal (Russian) Eurasia as a history of self-sufficient subject of historical development. But he also failed to do that. The story was torn into separate subjects, devoid of internal integrity. In subsequent years, the structure and content of works by Vernadsky indicate that he was released from the fetters of the Eurasian ideology and returned to the historiographical tradition of N. M. Karamzin. At the same time, in the work of “Mongols and Russia” (1953), he perfected his “holographic” method of constructing a historical narrative.
The article deals with investigating into conditions of the solidarity between elites and nonelite groups of post-revolutionary states in the western part of the former Russian empire (1917-1920). A high level of the solidarity is shown through geopolitical successes (efficient defending and/or conquering) and internal stability of a state. The indicators of a low level of the solidarity are large scale civil conflicts (civil wars) leading to the loss of state independence.
The analysis is based on comparing two contrastive cases – the Polish Szlachta and the Baltic-German nobility in their interactions with the Imperial government as well as local population in the period from the 17th to beginning of the 20th century. Both elites are similar regarding some important aspects such as an intensive interaction with each other and the historical dynamics of their states (independence – losing territories – the lost of independence). Nevertheless, both elite groups differ in the level of the solidarity with the local nonelit population which was relatively high among the Poles and relatively low between the Baltic-Germans on the one hand and the Estonians as well as the Latvians on the other hand. As theoretical basis are applied such approaches as the theory of cultural similarity, the geopolitical approach and structural-demographic theory. As main research method is used the macro-historical approach that allows to provide an explanation of historical phenomena through the synthesis of different theoretical approaches as well as levels of analysis.
The analysis has shown that the Russian revolution and the overthrow of the monarchy in 1917 in Russia legitimized social groups including elites that had been opposed to the Tsarist government and delegitimized social groups that had remained loyal to the “old regime”. “Revolutionary” attitude and image of the Polish elite (Szlachta) was a source of a high level of national solidarity among the Polish people. “Revolutionary” attitude and image of the Polish elite as the base of the solidarity among the Poles results from the strategies of elites socialization oriented on local patron-client networks that were established under conditions of a weak state power in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Besides, the opposition character of the Szlachta was conditioned on social deprivation measures of the Imperial government caused by a large number of the Polish elite.
A high loyalty of the Baltic-Germans to the Imperial government was a condition of a low level of the solidarity and was due to the strategies of elites socialization oriented on a career in the military or civil service outside the Baltic provinces
"PUBLIC OPINION" IN THE FRENCH ENCYCLOPEDIAS OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE XVIII CENTURY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONCEPTValdman I.A., Anosova T.V.
The work provides insight into the formation and development of the “public opinion” concept in the latter half of 18th century. A comparative analysis of the articles ‘opinion’ and ‘public opinion’ in the “Encyclopedia” of Diderot & d'Alembert and in the “Encyclopédie Méthodique” provides an opportunity to trace evolution and the distance between the perceptions of two notions during the various periods of time. The article considers ‘opinion’ as “doubtful and uncertain judgment” and ‘opinions’ as points of view of judges underlying the judgement, which the French Encyclopaedists referred to legal and logical spheres, and their impact on the formation of the “public opinion” concept. The work provides an analysis of ideas of public opinion as a mechanism of public control of social and political realm, which peculiarity is independence from the sphere of state regulation and the lack of institutionalized means of influencing the institutions.
The problem of the reliability of history, assessments of events and facts puts the researcher before the necessity of analyzing the very concept of history and its understanding as a bearer of the metaphysical. In the course of the analysis, a figure of the historian (Histor) - an elected arbitrator or an authoritative person, necessary for the initial court-judgment in a certain case was identified. Analysis of the Platonic dialogue "Sophist" allows us to discover the metaphysics of history through pairs of concepts such as: being and nothingness, movement and rest, identical and different, treating it as the art of creating images and as a myth caught and realized at the time of its appearance. Change of the image of history is facilitated by a speech that can change meanings. Historian (Histor) and sophist are two terms that have shown the limits of our understanding of being, which is atomic and which constantly forces us to make choices.
Hobsbawm’s modern world originated in the big bang of the eighteenth century, and it was extinguished in an implosion almost exactly two centuries later. To him these two hundred years were defined by the project of the Enlightenment which imagined a world that was equally good for all of humanity and not for just some part of it. More than revolution, the Enlightenment drove this world onward until it seems to have exhausted itself by the end of the twentieth century: the Marxist Hobsbawm is inspired more by the Enlightenment than by one of its consequences, the millenarian dream of revolution. Deriving from the Enlightenment, the conjoined industrial and French revolutions, known as the dual revolution in his work, generated all subsequent events. The industrial revolution assumed both capitalist and socialist forms, and the political revolution inaugurated by the French species spawned a series of bourgeois and socialist revolutions, attempts at revolution of both types, and revolutions against revolution, or counter-revolutions. They permeated not only the politics and the economy of the continent, but as much its social and cultural processes and the sciences and the arts. His magnificent oeuvre celebrates this universe bounded by the two revolutionary waves of the late eighteenth and the late twentieth centuries; but it is a celebration that broods on its dark side as much as on its stupendous achievements. His grand theme is the hope held out by the Enlightenment, the revolutions that sustained it, and the counter-revolutions that negated it. As this modern world drew to its close in the 1990s, a gloomy uncertainty hangs over the world, and his musings on the post-Cold War world reflect this unease.