Historiography of the Samara Zemstvo in the context of Russian and foreign zemstvo historiography

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The purpose of this study was a historiographic analysis of scientific works on the history of zemstvos of the Middle Volga region, which contained assessments of the organization and activities of zemstvos of the provinces of the Middle Volga region, which, along with city councils, performed the functions of local governments in the second half of the XIX and early XX centuries. The focus is on regional studies. To reveal this topic, the authors set the following tasks: 1) to distinguish periods of historiography; 2) to find out the reasons for the insufficient attention of historians to the Zemstvo in Russian and Soviet historiography; 3) to show the most studied topics and problems raised in the research of Soviet and post-Soviet, as well as foreign historians in the field of Russian local government (including Samara); 4) to characterize the approaches of modern historiography of the Samara zemstvo; 5) to determine the objectives of future research. When studying the conceptual representations of scientists, the methods of historiographic analysis were used, including comparative-historical, chronological, and also the method of periodization. In the historiography of the problem, two periods are distinguished: Soviet and modern. Historiographic facts were used as a source base: the works of Soviet, Russian and foreign historians – monographs, scientific articles, scientific reviews and critical reviews, which contain valuable information about the ideas of scientists on Zemstvos, depending on the socio-political situation in the country and the degree of development of the topic under study. The authors found that until the 60-ies of the XX century the history of zemstvos did not cause much interest, and assessments of their activities were in line with the Marxist-Leninist ideology; 1990–2000-ies – the most active and fruitful period of research on the history of the zemstvo. In the 10 of the XXI century enthusiasm for this problem began to decline. After 2010, against the background of the process of integrating local self-government in the state «vertical of power» that is gaining momentum in Russia and reducing its political significance, the development of history of local self-government and the zemstvo direction in research have lost their popularity, although there are still unaffected aspects and the need to create generalized works has remained, so as a problem of the place of the self-government system in Russia – the past, the present and the future – has been and remains relevant for our country. The authors also attempted to identify a new vector of problems on the history of the Zemstvo movement in the Russian Empire.


About the authors

O. V. Turganova

Samara State Technical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4882-8726

Candidate of Historical Sciences, associate professor, Department of Sociology, Political Science and Fatherland History

M. N. Matveev

Samara National Research University, 34, Moskovskoye shosse, Samara, 443086, Russian Federation.

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7434-5018

Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Department of Russian History


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