Eileen Kane is an Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College where she specializes in empires, migrations, religion and historical connections between the Russian and Ottoman empires. She’s the author of Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Roots, “Adrenaline!” Things Fall Apart, 1999.
You Might also like
By Sean — 11 years ago
United Russia and Putin disagree? Sure it’s nothing major, but Putin shot down the proposal to eliminate the hammer and sickle from Russia’s WWII Victory Banner. As Kommersant reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of veteran organizations in the Kremlin on Friday to discuss the implementation of his decree on preparation to celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov attended the meeting as well. After the meeting was over, he claimed that it was he who suggested that the president should send the notorious law “About the Victory Banner” to the State Duma to be revised.
The scandal was triggered by the law allowing to use the Victory Banner’s symbol during victory celebrations in May, instead of a copy of the real banner placed above Reichstag on May 1, 1945. The symbol differs significantly from the banner. The symbol is a red rectangle with a white five-pointed star on both sides, but it does not have the sickle and hammer on it.
Veterans demanded to use the copy, and not the symbol, of the Victory Banner during this anniversary. Thus, the president had the last say in the argument, and he sent the law back to the State Duma for revision.Post Views: 548
By Sean — 12 years ago
The historiography on the relationship between Muslims, the Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union has become a cottage industry in Eurasian historical studies. A slew of books have come out in the last five years as researchers think about the reasons for the dissolution of the Russian/Soviet Empire and the state’s relationships with its Muslim subjects/citizens. Both the Chechen War and GWOT have made this interest even timelier.
There are too many books to list, and frankly my knowledge of this burgeoning topic is not as good as it should be. And that is more the reason to start putting my ear to the street and note new studies on the subject. First, for those who have access to academic journals, I point you to the Summer 2006 issue of the Slavic Review (vol. 65, no. 2). This issue features a forum called “The Multiethnic Soviet Union in Comparative Perspective.” Adeeb Khalid’s comparative essay on the Soviet and Turkish state’s relations with its ethnic groups and the applicability of postcolonial analysis is worth a read.
More accessible to readers is University of Michigan professor and specialist in Russian/Soviet nationalities, Ron Suny’s review in the Moscow Times of Stanford University professor Robert Crews’ For Prophet and Tsar. This potentially interesting new book examines the question of Russian-Muslim relations in the 18th and 19th century. Suny notes that Crews makes a novel contribution, if not a revision, of the standard story of Russian oppression of its Muslim subjects. Instead, Crews shows that while oppression did exist, the relationship between Tsar and Muslim religious elites were one of integration and collaboration. As Suny explains via Crews,
“Historians have usually depicted tsarist Russia’s treatment of its Islamic peoples as a story of repression, Russification and constant conflict between Christian rulers and their tens of millions of Muslim subordinates. That indelible image continued to color the analysis of Soviet rule of the Central Asian peoples, and conflicts like the war in Chechnya only confirm the idea of the eternal clash of Orthodox and Islamic civilizations. Stanford professor Robert D. Crews tells quite a different story in For Prophet and Tsar. He demonstrates how tsars used religion as a foundation for popular loyalty to the autocracy and as a means of disciplining and regulating the heterogeneous population of their vast realm. Religion, rather than language or nationality, was the principal identification of peoples in the empire. The law required every subject to be a member of a confessional community and to obey the clerical authorities of that community. The faiths of Muslims, Jews and Buddhists, as well as the non-Orthodox Christians — Protestants, Catholics and Armenian Apostolics — were officially recognized and integrated into the system of local governance. Over time, Muslims and others adapted to the tsarist religious regime “as a potential instrument of God’s will,” accepted (though not without contestation) the clerics sanctioned by the state and used official institutions to help regulate their own members and settle disputes among them.”
Sounds like a fascinating study and not just because it challenges our standard view of the relationship between empire and subject; it also gives us a better picture of the intersection of religion and modern practices of state efforts to regulate, subjugate, and discipline its populations. I hope to find time to read Crews’ study.
Post Views: 576
By Sean — 10 years ago
Russia’s “oil-fired economic miracle is unraveling,” the protests over the car tax is being hailed as a sign of “broad discontent,” unemployment grows by 400,000 in November with an extra 70,000 this past week alone, Russia’s richest man, Oleg Deripaska, is looking for investors wherever he can to save his metal empire, and Putin is imploring Russia’s business to only fire people only if it is absolutely necessary. From reading today’s English language press, one would think it was February 1917 all over again.
Luckily for all of Russia’s unemployed and redundant labor, there is one business that might be hanging “Help Wanted” signs as the rest of the economy goes down the toilet: McDonald’s.
In an interview in Vedomosti, Khamzat Khasbulatov, Micky D’s man in Russia and Eastern Europe, had this to say about how the economy has affected his company’s ability to peddle cheap, overly processed burgers.
Have McDonald’s felt the crisis in Russia?
Many companies are up in arms about operating funds. Do you have a problem with liquidity?
No, but it’s known that there is no money. The truth of this claim is now strongly felt by those whose businesses are built on borrowed capital. When businesses are created on the basis of rapid growth and sustained credit, the problems can be very serious. Today even experts can’t predict the depth of the global crisis, its duration, or its consequences. History has shown only local and continental crises: the depression in the USA in the 1930s, the Latin American crisis of the 1980-90s, the crisis in Asia in the mid-1990s, the Russian crisis of 1998. At the moment, we don’t feel the influence of this crisis.
Forget about Khasbulatov’s selective history and geographical mapping of past crises of capital, the big question is why is McDonald’s so economically resiliant. One clue might be in Khasbulatov’s recollection of McDonald’s performance during the 1998 crisis.
How did the 1998 crisis effect McDonald’s?
We had to lower our costs but there was an increase in the number of visitors for the most part because we increased the assortment of products at a low price. Taking into account that our customers are people with a low income, we must be more balanced in how we determine prices. We’ve always maintained the rule that the growth of our prices must be below the rate of inflation. We have the resources for this. Almost 80% of our products in our restaurants are produced in Russia, and we are less subject to the course of fluctuations than many players in the market. In general, our position in 1998 was so stable that we did not attempt to lay these expenses on the consumer.
And what are McDonald’s profits in Russia? “This is secret information,” says Khasbulatov.
One thing is that Ronald McDonald’s house looks like to be the one of the few bright buoys in a sea of darkness in 2009. The burger joint plans on opening new and bigger restaurants, remodel existing ones, expand their McKaffe stores, and expand the menu. Given that 75% of their employees are young people, I would image as unemployment increases, McDonalds are going to get a new rash of applications in the near future. As of 2005, the average McD’s employee earned about $250 a month. This has increased to about $400. Now that’s a bright future!Post Views: 633