Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Russia’s Federalist Imagination: Visions of Difference and Development in an Interconnected Eurasia, 1889-1918
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Location Note

1219 International Affairs Building
420 W 118th Street, 12th floor

This is a hybrid (in-person/virtual) event. Registration required for attendance. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events. Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues. All other attendees may participate virtually on Zoom or YouTube.

Please join the East Central European Center and the Harriman Institute for a discussion with Marcel Garboś, István Deak Assistant Visiting Professor of East Central European Studies.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Russian empire and its international emigre colonies emerged as a vibrant laboratory of federalist thought and politics. While the multinational Soviet Union was the best-known and most internationally influential product of this milieu, the Bolsheviks were relative latecomers to federalism, drawing upon the established ideas of more moderate and generally overlooked socialist competitors. This presentation offers a glimpse into the international circulation of federal frameworks between late imperial Russia and the wider world, highlighting abortive yet ambitious attempts at incorporating models from Anglophone and German-speaking countries into projects of post-Tsarist order. Following the ideas and travels of Russian-, Ukrainian-, and Polish-speaking socialists, it locates this rich federalist imagination within pan-European and global contexts often elided in conventional Soviet-oriented narratives.

Marcel Radosław Garboś is a historian of social and political thought in the late Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, with broad interests in the comparative history of empires and visions of post-imperial order in the modern world. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Harvard University and currently serves as an István Deak Assistant Visiting Professor of East Central European Studies at Columbia University.