Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Krasnoiarsk, 1917 : the making of Soviet power in central Siberia
Author: Dickins, Alistair
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 4800
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis investigates the formation of power structures in a revolutionary setting. It takes as a case study the central Siberian city of Krasnoiarsk, in which a powerful Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies emerged during the period March-October 1917. The Krasnoiarsk Soviet was an elective council established during the overthrow of Tsarist authorities. Throughout 1917, it became a vital component of an emerging local and regional power structure, assuming growing responsibility for a number of core state tasks. As well as providing a new empirical case study to English-language literature on 1917, the thesis employs a nuanced analytical approach which challenges existing conceptualisations of state power in revolution and the role played by local soviets. State power in revolutionary Russia has often been viewed as something to be contested between different political groupings and organisations seeking to assert their own outright control. This view is captured neatly by the formulation of “dual power”, in which soviets and Provisional Government organisations constructed alternative power bases in an attempt to wield outright control. Accordingly, the soviets’ growing political strength indicated an ability to marginalise other groups and organisations seeking to wield power. By contrast, this thesis does not seek to explain how power in revolutionary Krasnoiarsk was “captured” or otherwise controlled by the Soviet alone. Instead, it applies a critical interpretation of state power proposed by Bob Jessop and other theorists, who view the state as a site of interaction and negotiation between multiple autonomous organisations and social actors, all of which have a stake in the way it operates in practice. It focuses on the emergence of a “soviet power” writ small, in which the Krasnoiarsk Soviet became an authoritative organisation within a broader constellation of revolutionary actors. Without denying the Soviet’s centrality within this power structure, the thesis does not explain its role simply as the monopolisation of authority over other would-be contenders. Rather, it sees the Soviet’s importance in its ability to establish itself as a focal point for interactions between multiple actors which, collectively, shaped state power at a local and regional level. It considers how the forms and practices of revolutionary power developed through these interactions and how these interactions in turn transformed the roles of actors and organisations engaging them. In order to unpick the complex and dynamic processes of revolutionary power, the thesis employs three core methodological concepts: institutions, mobilisation, and ideology. It makes several important and original arguments. Firstly, it emphasises the autonomy of social actors which supported the Soviet and engaged in its politics, demonstrating the extent to which they were able to shape its political functions and structures according to their own concerns. Secondly, it reveals the importance of skilled administrative personnel to Soviet work, highlighting the invaluable practical roles they played in the regulation of provisions and their ability to influence Soviet policy measures on this issue. Thirdly, it demonstrates the close cooperation between the Soviet and other local governmental and administrative bodies, including the city Duma and provisions regulatory organisations, which remained vital to fulfilling state functions throughout 1917. Finally, it discusses how the Soviet and socialist activists challenged established power relationships between Krasnoiarsk, as a locality, and all-Russian state authorities, revealing the growing importance they attached to securing greater local autonomy in revolution and the changing ways local actors viewed their role in wider all-Russian politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Russian revolution ; 1917 ; Siberia ; Krasnoiarsk ; Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies ; Soviet ; soviets ; social revolution ; state power ; soviet power ; vlast' sovetov ; sovetskaia vlast' ; oblastnichestvo ; Siberian regionalism ; constituency ; mobilisation ; institutions ; institutional development ; ideology ; local histories ; regional histories ; provincial histories ; political parties ; administration ; municipal dumas ; provisions