Gendarmes and the Modernization of Local Rule in Russia (Research Experience and Prospects)


  • Alsu Biktasheva National Research University –Higher School of Economics, Moscow



The article explores the historiography of the secret police in the Russian Empire. Revealing the approaches of historians to this subject, the methods and manner of their work with historical sources, the author demonstrates the negative consequences that were a result of political topicality and the concealing of information about the state. A review of historiographic heritage enables the author to cleanse the perception of the topic from a number of “quasi-evident facts” created at various times and under different circumstances. Additionally, she pays attention to the existence of a vast number of documents of the police department which can still be found in state archives. Special attention needs to be paid to those ones that contain the reflections of gendarme officers on professional ethics and duties. The author reveals documental evidence of conflicts of interest between the local administration and the police officers controlling its activity. The approach used by the author bears a non-conventional character which consists in the study of creation of these documents and their functions in the police department. Preliminary results enable the author to claim that these certificates can provide information not only about the sphere of impact and peculiarities of the secret police, but also about the ways of implementation of the political concept of a regular, well-organized state in 19th century-Russia and the ways of self-improvement of government.

Author Biography

Alsu Biktasheva, National Research University –Higher School of Economics, Moscow



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How to Cite

Biktasheva, A. (2015). Gendarmes and the Modernization of Local Rule in Russia (Research Experience and Prospects). Quaestio Rossica, (2), 132–143.



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