My work is embedded in the rise of European popular politics and of the press as a challenger and an instrument to European governments. Drawing on European parallels, I dissect the political and technological factors that elevated the Russian press to a central forum for political debate. I then analyze how bureaucratic interest groups instrumentalized opinion newspapers for sharp and public polemics with rival factions. Highlighting the Russian state’s increasing reliance on the press for public opinion management, my research reveals the emergence of powerful press lords as autonomous political actors in their own right. I uncover newspapers’ networks of informants within bureaucratic corridors, whose leaks fueled public debate. Finally, my study shows that as Russia faced a looming revolutionary threat by the 1880s, press lords advanced competing political programs as they vied for influence over the Tsar and the public, effectively engaging in party politics. My research places Russia within the broader expansion of European public politics during the nineteenth century, underscoring the prominent role of the press.
Research Significance & Impact
My work contributes a fresh perspective on the historical relationship between the state, the press, and the public with relevance to contemporary politics. It offers a new framework that discerns patterns of collaboration, coordination, and co-dependency between the state and the press. My work also re-appraises the nature of Russia’s autocratic governance, demonstrating the state’s engagement with public opinion, as well as the political plurality and participation of non-state actors in pre-Revolutionary Russia.
Current Research Projects
"The Russian Press and Competing Visions for the Monarchy in the 1880s”
This project examines how four leading and politically diverse newspapers vied for influence over the direction of Alexander III’s rule during the early 1880s.
Research for this project has been made possible with the support of The Cosmos Club Foundation of Washington, DC.
"The Russian Press and Its Evolving Relationship with the State During In 19th Century"
This article examines the nature of the press and its transformation during the 19th century from a relatively marginalized institution to a powerful political institution of fast-rising social importance and a professionally-operated business.
“Print Workers’ Mutual Aid Society, Pension, Healthcare, Loans in Late Imperial Russia”
My research the records of Print Workers' Mutual Aid Societies in Russia to reveals the earliest example of organized private social welfare in pre-Revolutionary Russia and a platform for professional solidarity and collective bargaining organized by workers and for workers.
Conferences and Talks
“The Transformation of the Russian Monarchy under Alexander III: press, nationalism, and political legitimacy in late 19th century Russia,” in Russian, Colloquium of Stipend Recipients, German Historical Institute (GHI) in Moscow, Russia, Nov 22, 2018
Chair, "The Russian Press as a Historical Source: Opportunities, Challenges, Collections," Annual ASEEES Convention, San Francisco, CA, Nov 23-26, 2019
“Print Workers’ Mutual Aid Societies: Pension, Healthcare, Loans in Late Imperial Russia,” Annual ASEEES Convention, San Francisco, CA, Nov 23-26, 2019
“Labor Physical and Mental: Moscow Print Workers’ Mutual Aid Society, Pension, Healthcare, Loans in the 1870s-1890s,” Northeastern Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies Conference (NESEEES), NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York, NY, March 30, 2019
“Russian Monarchy and Modernity: National Politics and Social Welfare in Late Imperial Russia,” “Monarchy and Modernity, 1500-1945” Conference, University of Cambridge, UK, Jan. 8-9, 2019
Roundtable Member, "Rethinking Russian Conservatism: Tradition, National Identity, and Reformism," Annual ASEEES Convention, Boston, MA, December 6-9, 2018
“The Russian Press and Competing Visions for the Monarchy under Alexander III: 1881-1894,” Annual ASEEES Conference, Boston, MA, December 6-9, 2018
“The Conservative as ‘the Other’: The Case of M.N. Katkov,” International MAG Convention, co-sponsored by ASEEES and ACLS, Catholic University of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, June 27-29, 2018
“From National Politics to Early Welfare State: A Case Study in Late Imperial Russia,” Northeastern Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies Conference (NESEEES), NYU Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia, New York, NY, April 7, 2018
“Alexander III's 'National Politics': Reflections on Nation-Building, Welfare state, and Citizenship in Late Imperial Russia,” Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS), University of North Carolina –Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, March 22-24, 2018
“Alexander III – the Making of a ‘Russian’ Tsar: Nationalism as a New Source of Monarchic Legitimacy in the Late Romanov Empire,” University of St. Andrews, August 2013
“Late Imperial Russia: Practices of Autocratic Rule in the Age of Stock Market, Statistics and State Budget, 1881-1894,” University of Winchester, UK, July 2013
Moderator, “Political and Philosophical Perspectives: Personalities and Ideas,” International MAG Convention, co-sponsored by ASEEES and ACLS, Catholic University of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine, June 27-29, 2018
Chair, “Life and Thought in Late Tsarist and Post-Revolutionary Russia,” Southern Conference for Slavic Studies, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, March 22-24, 2018
My research interests for future projects span the period of late Imperial Russian history, and include the history of press, communication, social, and cultural history. To learn more and explore opportunities for collaboration in publishing and conference presentation, contact me at acreciun[at]umd.edu.