Vladimir Popov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

The Police Order at the Era of Absolutism in Russia, and the Causes of Its Collapse during the February Revolution of 1917

2014, vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 52–97 [issue contents]

In the article, an attempt is made to characterize the police order in Russia as a coercion regime during the era of absolutism from the end of the 17th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. It is claimed that absolutism had a chronic deficiency of resources for legitimation. During the Peter I and Catherine II eras, this deficiency was compensated by the periodic building of a repressive police force under the ideological cover of cameralism that was borrowed from concurrent European states. Due to a political crisis of the coercion regime in the first third of the 19th century, there was a replacement of the ideological decor of cameralism with a reactionary formula of “orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality”. At the end of the 19th century, the last ideological transformation caused by the political crisis of the 1870s was carried out when religious authorization of unlimited autocracy was put in the forefront. The theoretical conception was developed according to which the main threat of stability to the coercion regime was generated by the processes of power deflation, by the forced structural changes of society as a result of military mobilizations and by the situational forms of politicization on the basis of the aggravated perception of power as evil which can no longer be tolerated. Using the historical example of the February revolution of 1917, it is shown that the temporal coincidence of these three processes, having reached their highest intensity during the First World War, led to the collapse of the Russian absolutism and its police order.

Citation: Popov V. (2014) Politseyskiy poryadok epokhi absolyutizma v Rossii i prichiny ego krakha v khode Fevral'skoy revolyutsii 1917 goda [The Police Order at the Era of Absolutism in Russia, and the Causes of Its Collapse during the February Revolution of 1917]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 13, no 1, pp. 52-97 (in Russian)
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