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406 Рецензии/Reviews Marlies BILZ-LEONHARDT С. В. Любичанковский. Ремон- тируемая вертикаль: Губернская реформа в планах правительства Николая II. Оренбург: Издатель- ство ОГПУ, 2009. 404 с. ISBN: 978-5-85859-408-6. Sergei Liubichankovskii is a young yet already well-known specialist in the field of tsarist administration as he has published extensively on that topic in recent years.1 His recent book reviewed here focuses on reformist projects drafted at the time of the last Russian emperor, Nicholas II. Following strict chronological order, it analyzes the plans of several tsarist ministers and some high-ranking imperial officials in the Volga-Ural region.The author begins with a sort of introductory chapter that gives an overview of the main characteristics and dysfunctions of the existing administrational system. However, from the very beginning, he casts doubt on the widespread historiographical assumption that the Russian juridical system at that time was archaic, by pointing to the fact that many significant administrative legislative acts had already been introduced and implemented earlier, between 1826 and 1881. Thus, according to Liubichankovskii, late imperial Russia had at its disposal quite a comprehensive set of regulatory rules that were necessary for administering its gubernii more or less effectively. Inthemainchapterofthisvoluminous monograph, the author analyzes the projects proposed by the betterknown modern Russian reformers: I. L. Goremykin, V. K. Pleve, and P. A. Stolypin. Then his narration turns to focus on the regional projects and lesser known personalities connected specifically to officialdom in the Volga-Ural region: Liubichankovskii explores the reformist plans drafted by I. M. Strakhovskii and V. I. Ershov (Orenburg), I. N. Sokolovskii (Ufa), N. M. Klingenberg and P. F. Khomutov (Viatka). In the concluding chapter, the author briefly overviews the project by S. E. Kryzhanovskii, and, at more length, a project suggested by B. V. Shtiurmer. 1 His publications include: Gubernskaia administratsiia i problemy krizisa vlasti v pozdenimperskoi Rossii (na materialakh Urala, 1892–1914) / Dissertatsiia doktora istoricheskikh nauk. St.Petersburg, 2008; Krizis gubernskogo upravleniia regionami v pozdneimperskoi Rossii // Federalizm.Teoriia. Praktika. Istoriia. 2007. No. 1. Pp. 127-140; Proekty Ural’skikh gubernatorov o gubernskoi reforme v Rossii (konets XIX – nachalo XX vv.) // Klio: Zhurnal dlia uchenykh. 2006. No. 4. Pp. 150-156. He is also co-editor of the monograph: Mestnoe upravlenie v poreformennoi Rossii: Mekhanizmy vlasti i ikh effektivnost’/ Red.A.Zagrebin, S.Liubichankovskii. Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk 2010. See a review of it published at (Last visit: May 15, 2011). 407 Ab Imperio, 2/2011 It should be emphasized that out of a total 404 pages, more than 200 refer to accurately and comprehensively annotated primary sources. This is well in line with the main “design” of the book aimed at drawing comparisons between the projects and analyzing them. The author’s main method is content analysis based on a numerical algorithm developed hermeneutically by the author himself. Liubichankovskii elaborates a sophisticated system of counting statements according to their content and grouping the results in statistical clusters. He operates with the following research metacategories : (1) general characteristics of the existing system; (2) strategic objectives; (3) precise proposals; and (4) correlation of strategies and proposals. The analysis of every project (except those mentioned in the final chapter) includes extensive statistical tables with numerical data accompanied by a brief résumé. From 1895 onward it became obvious that the need for change and administrative reforms in the imperial regions was acute, and this served as a perpetual impetus for the various projects collected in Liubichankovskii’s book. Although starting in approximately 1903, a well-educated bureaucracy was in place, tsarist officialdom did not realize the importance of reforming theadministrationalsystemontheperiphery , and, in fact, none of the projects was ever fully implemented.The administration of gubernii seemed to have gotten trapped in the web of inefficient structures of the Obshchee Uchrezhdenie Gubernskoe of 1892. Liubichankovskii turns first to the ministerial project by Ivan Goremykin that appeared in 1898. As a minister of interior in 1895–1899, he saw the possible solution in better coordination between different government agencies and proposed a series of measures aimed at accelerating the administrative process; raising the status of civil servants; improving the quality of their education and work; and providing a better financial endowment to the local authorities. At the same time, one of...


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