The Muslim Question and Russian Imperial Governance

The Muslim Question and Russian Imperial Governance

Elena I. Campbell
Distribution: World
Publication date: 01/26/2015
Format: Hardback 10 b&w illus., 2 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01446-7
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From the time of the Crimean War through the fall of the Tsar, the question of what to do about the Russian empire's large Muslim population was a highly contested issue among educated Russians both inside and outside the government. As formulated in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Muslim Question comprised a complex set of ideas and concerns that centered on the problems of reimagining and governing the tremendously diverse Russian empire in the face of the challenges presented by the modernizing world. Basing her analysis on extensive research in archival and primary sources, Elena I. Campbell reconstructs the issues, debates, and personalities that shaped the development of Russian policies toward the empire's Muslims and the impact of the Muslim Question on the modernizing path that Russia would follow.

Author Bio

Elena I. Campbell is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington.


“I was struck in reading Campbell's work how much Russia's 'Muslim Question' remains a pressing contemporary issue. In addition to being a major contribution to the history of nationality, religious identity, and governance in late imperial Russia, Campbell's book, by implication, offers a better understanding of the analogous issues in the contemporary world.”
 — William G. Rosenberg, co-author (with Francis X. Blouin, Jr.) of Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding the "Muslim Question" and Its Changing Contexts

Part I. The Emergence of the Muslim Question
1. The Crimean War and Its Aftermath: The Question of Muslim Loyalty and Alienation
2. The Challenges of Apostasy to Islam
3. "What do we need from Muslims?" Combating Ignorance, Alienation, and Tatarization
4. "In Asia we come as Masters:" The Challenge of the Civilizing Mission in Turkestan
5. Dilemmas of Regulation and Rapprochement: The Problem of Muslim Religious Institutions

Part II. The Muslim Question during the Era of Mass Politics
6. Challenges of Revolution and Reform
7. The Muslim Question in the Aftermath of the Revolution
8. "Solving" the Muslim Question
9. World War I

Conclusion: Could the Muslim Question Have Been Solved?


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