2019. 140 x 215 mm. Hardcover. 280 p.
Annotation: By the 1870s the Russian Empire had completed its long and arduous process of annexing the Kazakh steppe. In order to establish rule over these territories, Petersburg authorities called for the codification of local laws in the steppe—to study them, to empty them of supposed “savage customs” and Islamic influence, and to provide a common legal system for the empire. Experiments in Empire examines the details of this codification project and the many difficulties its organizers faced. Participants in the codification project and, more broadly, the construction of legal culture in the Kazakh steppe included not only imperial bureaucrats and scholars of the East, but also people local to the steppe. Each of these groups of actors possessed their own motives and their own understandings of the core problem of codification—i.e., the problem surrounding customary Adat law and its relationship with Islamic Sharia law. Why was this problem so difficult to resolve? To which discussions did it give rise in the empire? Why has Russia failed to implement any of its projects of codification of customary law not only in the Kazakh steppe, but also in other regions such as Eastern Siberia and the North Caucasus? The authors of this book are both specialists on the history of Muslim societies: Pavel Shabley is an assistant professor at the Chelyabinsk State University in Kostanay, and Paolo Sartori is a senior researcher at the Austrian Academy of Sciences Institute of Iranian Studies.