Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2015

In Osteuropa 5-6/2015
Teil des Lesepaket Ideengeschichte

Chaadaev’s Second Elbow
A “Turn to Asia” in Russian History?

Andreas Renner

Deutsche Fassung


It is with good reason that historians write the history of Russia as a part of European history. But how do they deal with Asia? Since the 18th century, “Asia” has served as an asymmetrical antonym of “Europe” in depictions of Russia. The Asia of the tsarist empire was declared the object of a civilising policy understood as “European” or seen as a threat to Russia’s European identity, if not the whole of Europe. On the other hand, Soviet Asia has received hardly any attention. With regard to history, Russian Studies should explore the relationship of Russia and Asia on a basis structurally equal to the well-studied relationship between Russia and Europe.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2015, pp. 5–20)