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Concepts of Policing during the Russian Revolution, 1917-18

Concepts of Policing during the Russian Revolution, 1917-18

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1654-1671
Number of pages17
JournalEurope-Asia Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - 21 Dec 2016


The disintegration of the tsarist police system in 1917 presented contemporaries with the challenge of creating an alternative and defining its purpose. This essay suggests that, despite the radical implications of the militia system that appeared, formal ideas about policing were conventional. Even the Bolsheviks, despite conceptualising the militia as ‘the people in arms’, legislated for a civilian police force that was similar to its predecessors, at least in terms of formally defined functions. The essay also suggests that debates about the militia during 1917 and 1918 are better understood within the wider context of pan-European historical
models of policing.


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