Modernisation has been a constant theme in Russian history at least since Peter the Great launched a series of initiatives aimed at closing the economic, technical and cultural gap between Russia and the more ‘advanced’ countries of Europe. All of the leaders of the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia have been intensely aware of this gap, and have pursued a number of strategies, some more successful than others, in order to modernise the country. But it would be wrong to view modernisation as a unilinear process which was the exclusive preserve of the state. Modernisation has had profound effects on Russian society, and the attitudes of different social groups have been crucial to the success and failure of modernisation.
This volume examines the broad theme of modernisation in late imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet Russia both through general overviews of particular topics, and specific case studies of modernisation projects and their impact. Modernisation is seen not just as an economic policy, but as a cultural and social phenomenon reflected through such diverse themes as ideology, welfare, education, gender relations, transport, political reform, and the Internet. The result is the most up to date and comprehensive survey of modernisation in Russia available, which highlights both one of the perennial problems and the challenges and prospects for contemporary Russia.Book Details
This book deals with 20th century resettlements in the western areas of the former USSR, in particular the territory of Karelia that was ceded by Finland in the WWII, Podolia in the Ukraine, and the North-West periphery of Russia in the Kola peninsula. Finns from Karelia emigrated to Finland, most of the Jews of Podolia were exterminated by Nazi Germany but the survivors later emigrated to Israel, and the sparsely populated territory beyond the Polar circle received the Societ conquerors of nature which they began to exploit. The empty areas were usually settled by planned state recruitment of relocated Soviet citizens, but in some cases also by spontaneous movement. Thus, a Ukrainian took over a Jewish house, a Chuvash kolkhos was dispersed along Finnish khutor houses, and youth in the town of Apatity began to prefer their home town in relation to the cities of Russia.
Everywhere the settlers met new and strange surroundings, and they had to construct places and meanings for themselves in their new home and restructure their local identity in relation to their places of origin and current abodes. They also had to create images of the former inhabitants and explanations for various strange details they preceived around themselves.
All articles within this volume are based on extensive field or archive work. This research project was funded by the Academy of Finland.Book Details