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Byzantium in the Time of Troubles

The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes (1057-1079)

Series:

Eric McGeer and John Nesbitt

The years before and after the battle of Manzikert (1071) mark a turning point in the history of the Byzantine Empire. The invasions of the Seljuk Turks in the east and the encroachment of the Normans from the west altered the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and forced the Byzantines to confront new threats to their survival. These threats came at a time when internal rivalries made an effective military response all but impossible and led to a significant transformation of the Byzantine polity under the Komnenoi.
The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes, now translated for the first time, provides a contemporary view of these troubled times. An extension of the principal source for the middle Byzantine period, and a subtle reworking of the History of Michael Attaleiates, the Continuation offers a high court official’s narrative of the events and personages that shaped the course of Byzantine history on the eve of the Crusades.

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Charlotte Hille

Clan societies differ substantially from Western democratic states. Clan societies are based around the extended family. Honour and solidarity are important, which is reflected in nepotism and blood revenge. However, a more positive aspect of clan societies is the use of reconciliation to solve conflicts. This guarantees that parties to a conflict can cooperate in the future. When intervening in a clan based society it is important to be aware of the differences compared to Western democracy. Based on theory and practice the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq, Albania and Chechnya are investigated. This book explains clan society and provides tools to facilitate state building and democratization in clan based societies for those who intervene, aimed at conflict resolution and democratization.

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Edited by Olga Voronina

A Companion to Soviet Children’s Literature and Film offers a comprehensive and innovative analysis of Soviet literary and cinematic production for children. Its contributors contextualize and reevaluate Soviet children’s books, films, and animation and explore their contemporary re-appropriation by the Russian government, cultural practitioners, and educators.

Celebrating the centennial of Soviet children’s literature and film, the Companion reviews the rich and dramatic history of the canon. It also provides an insight into the close ties between Soviet children’s culture and Avant-Garde aesthetics, investigates early pedagogical experiments of the Soviet state, documents the importance of translation in children’s literature of the 1920-80s, and traces the evolution of heroic, fantastic, historical, and absurdist Soviet narratives for children.

Empiriomonism

Essays in Philosophy, Books 1–3

Series:

Alexander Aleksandrovich Bogdanov

Edited by David Rowley

Empiriomonism is Alexander Bogdanov’s monistic philosophy of being and cognition, which he believed is consistent with both modern science and Marxism. In Books One and Two of Empiriomonism, Bogdanov begins with Ernst Mach’s and Richard Avenarius’s neutral monism – the idea that the ‘physical’ and the ‘psychical’ are two sides of one reality – and explains how human psyches are causally interconnected with the rest of nature. In Book Three, he shows how empiriomonism substantiates the principles of historical materialism more adequately than G. V. Plekhanov’s out-dated materialism. Bogdanov concludes that empiriomonism, although not technically materialist, is nevertheless of the same order as materialist systems and, since it is the ideology of the productive forces of society, it is a Marxist philosophy.

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Steve J. Shone

Steve Shone’s Women of Liberty explores the many overlaps between ten radical, feminist, and anarchist thinkers: Tennie C. Claflin, Noe Itō, Louise Michel, Rose Pesotta, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mollie Steimer, Lois Waisbrooker, Mercy Otis Warren, and Victoria C. Woodhull. In an age of great and understandable dissatisfaction with governments around the world, Shone illuminates both the lost wisdom of the anarchists and the considerable contribution of women to intellectual thought, influences that are currently missing from many classes documenting the history of political theory.

Making Ethnicity in Southern Bessarabia

Tracing the Histories of an Ambiguous Concept in a Contested Land

Series:

Simon Schlegel

In Making Ethnicity, Simon Schlegel offers a history of ethnicity and its political uses in southern Bessarabia, a region that has long been at the crossroads of powerful forces: in the 19th century between the Russian and Ottoman Empires, since World War I between the Soviet Union and Romania, and since the collapse of the Soviet Union between Russia and the European Union’s respective zones of influence.

Drawing on biographical interviews and archival documents, Schlegel argues that ethnic categories gained relevance in the 19th century, as state bureaucrats took over local administration from the church. After mutating into a dangerous instrument of social engineering in the mid-20th century, ethnicity today remains a potent force for securing votes and allocating resources.

Serhy Yekelchyk

The author proposes a new perspective on the political mobilization of ethnic Russians in the Crimea as reactive settler nationalism. After the Russian imperial conquest of the peninsula and the gradual displacement of the Crimean Tatars, the 1917 Revolution galvanized the Tatar national movement, which entered into an alliance with the Ukrainian one. A similar situation developed in the late 1980s, when the peninsula’s Russian ethnic majority found itself threatened by the loss of status and land in what could become a Tatar autonomy within Ukraine. Based on the implicit approval of Stalin’s genocidal deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, the political mobilization of ethnic Russians in the 1990s made the Crimea an easy target for Russian annexation, which, however, took place twenty years later because of Russia’s internal reasons and the Euromaidan Revolution being perceived as a threat to the Putin regime.

Orysia Kulick

The choices made by oligarchs and citizens in Dnipropetrovsk during and after the Euromaidan rebellion of 2013–14 were not just event-driven manifestations in response to domestic and internal pressures. They were responses shaped by historically-composed social structures and interrelationships forged over decades within the region, across southeastern Ukraine, and in relation to competing centers of power—in Kyiv, Moscow, Washington, Brussels and beyond. This paper argues that Dnipropetrovsk—and its leaders—played a crucial intermediary role in not only deescalating tensions in southeastern Ukraine more broadly, but also by buttressing the Ukrainian state in a time of existential crisis. In this analysis, oligarchic self-interest is taken as a given and one factor among many, including the signaling of interventionist intent from an external patron and also deeper, regionally specific, economic and structural forces. This piece brings into the analysis a historian’s understanding of contingency, arguing that analyses of developments in southeastern Ukraine (in the past and present) should strive to better situate regional actors not only in space but also time, so as to better understand the complex set of forces and heterogenous social temporalities shaping their choices.

Christopher J. Ward