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New Book on the Post-Imperial Russian-Qing Borderland

Mar 09, 2016

Ivan Sablin, a former PhD student at the Cluster “Asia and Europe”, has published a book, entitled “Governing Post-Imperial Siberia and Mongolia, 1911-1924: Buddhism, Socialism, and Nationalism in State and Autonomy Building”. The book connects Asian and Russian history, and is based on Sablin’s dissertation, which he completed in 2014.

The book demonstrates that indigenous actors of the former Russian–Qing imperial borderland played a crucial role in the development and implementation of the global Soviet project, and that Buddhism, nationalism, and socialism were important elements in the Bolsheviks’ take on Asian decolonization. The fall of the Qing and Russian empires in the early twentieth century resulted in economic and political turmoil throughout Eurasia, quest for restructuring social organizations, and formation of new political entities. Between 1911 and 1924 several independence and autonomy projects were developed and implemented in the areas populated by Mongolic peoples in North and East Asia ultimately leading to the establishment of the Buryat-Mongol Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic (BMASSR) within the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and independent Mongolian People’s Republic (MPR) which introduced new boundaries to Asia’s post-imperial spaces. The study covers the period between the collapse of the Qing Empire in 1911 and the creation of the MPR in 1924 and focuses on the northern part of the former imperial borderland, the area around Lake Baikal, where most of the new state and autonomy projects were developed.

Ivan Sablin is Associate Professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in St. Petersburg, where he is working at the Department of History. Furthermore he is a Research Fellow at the HSE Centre for Historical Research. From 2011 to 2014 Sablin was a PhD Candidate at the Cluster "Asia and Europe". 

The book “Governing Post-Imperial Siberia and Mongolia, 1911-1924: Buddhism, Socialism, and Nationalism in State and Autonomy Building” – 222 pages – has been published by Routledge Taylor and Francis Group Ltd.


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  • Cover of the book