Sukhova Olga Aleksandrovna, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, deputy head of sub-department Russian history, local history and history teaching technique, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), email@example.com
Yagov Oleg Vasil'evich, Doctor of historical sciences, professor, dean of the Faculty of History and Philology, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya street, Penza, Russia), firstname.lastname@example.org
Background. The urgency of addressing the problems of formation of the Russian nation is conditioned by occurrence of real threats to the state’s integrity, sovereignity and independence in the age of globalization. Establishment of national formations and, correspondingly, occurrence of instruments of influence on the domestic policy in the last third of the XX century provoked a weakening and even a crisis of the state in such form thereof that has emerged in Modern history. Objectively, the globalization actualize the ethnic and subethnic identities as a sort of stability compensation, as some return movement towards a desire to obtain a political status by means of ethnic and confessional identification. This to a large extent explains an increased interest to the concept “empire”, and, therefore, a necessity to study the Russian experience of imperial identity formation. In this regard the aim of the article is to study the efficiency of the imperial policy in various periods of polyethnic statehood development in the Russian history.
Materials and methods. Realization of the research tasks was achieved on the basis of the analysis of historiographic sources on the problem. Destruction and weakening of state structures and bonds in the modern age has entailed reconsideration of initial concepts: ethnos, nation, state, that caused a number of researchers to doubt the reality of such categories’ ontological status, designating these categories as constructs. In the context of the instrumentalist approach the ethnic identity is presented as a factor of conscious choice of a situational role for achieving a specific economic ad political target. The authors applied the culturological approach allowing to overcome methodological indeterminancy, due to giving the broadest understanding of the nation’s character, based on the multiaspect display of culture, forming the spiritual community of individuals.
Results. The authors studied the problem of forming the concept “nation” in the Russian and foreign historiography as a basic one for disclosing the goals and tasks of the research. The researchers carried out typologization of certain approaches to understanding the nation’s genesis. In the foreign historiography of the recent 20 years the authors pointed out an increase of the research interest to historical experience of empires, first of all of the Russian. It is proved that at the present time historical science is going through reconsideration of dogmatized interpretations of the imperial identity. There is a renunciation of the one-sided negative assessment of the national policy of the Russian Empire and USSR.
Conlcusions. Reactualization of the notion “nation” and “empire” and thereby provoked encounter of conceptions and approaches up to appearance of polar interpretations form a certain historiographic, as well as political and social order for further development of the research methodology, introduction into scientific use of new sources of studying the regional peculiarity of evolutions of the national and imperial identities. It is important that the “conciliatory” factor in this process may be the decoding of the mental code of the nation, which accumulates the influence of a variety of civilization factors and answers for reproduction and translation of the images of national identity, permanent reconstruction of traditional and adaptation of new elements.
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