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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 1

PARTICIPATION OF MUNICIPAL Governments IN THE SOCIal and pOLITICAL LIFE of SIBERIA (1905-1917): HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE PROBLEM

A. B. Khramtsov
Tyumen State Architectural University (TyumGASU), 625001, Tyumen, Lunacharsky st., 2
khramtsov_ab@bk.ru
Keywords: municipal governments, city councils, politicization, social-political processes, democratization, Siberia

Abstract

The article examines the scientific works on the municipal government participation in the social and political process of Siberia in 1905-1917. Contemporary researchers express different views on the subject: liberal authors underline an active political position of municipal departments, conservatives defend the class-corporate nature of self-government. There were two periods marked by the growing politicization of city councils and caused by the first Russian revolution (195-1907) and the First World War (1914-1917) respectively. For a long time both Russian and Western historians have approached this issue from a strict ideological standpoint. At the present stage of historiography development there is an opportunity to conduct an objective study due to the methodological pluralism and declassification of archival collections. According to the majority of historians, the old traditions of municipal self-government are reproduced in the modern context: some elements of the modern municipal government resemble those from the pre-Soviet model of self-government. Previously the city councils functioned under the strict control of provincial administration. Currently there is also a tendency of incorporating the local authorities into the state hierarchy. The First Russian revolution “pushed” local governments to more active political actions. Dumas acted as coordinators of public organizations. They started to participate in solution of problems, which were in the public authority competence. They got involved in solving the problems that had been placed under the jurisdiction of state authorities. This in turn helped to raise the level of civil consciousness and legal culture of population in many Siberian cities. The author concludes that the problem diversity requires expanding the field of study in terms of its chronological and thematic frameworks. The analysis shows that researchers mostly focused on a limited number of Siberian cities, so the data dynamics cannot be observed. The history of municipal governments and city councils participation in the political life of Siberia is investigated selectively (mainly in large cities). Municipalities’ political activity requires a detailed, interdisciplinary, comparative and comprehensive study.