Russian Revolution, its Legacy and the Socialist Project
  • Interview with Yannis Kotsonis — Professeur d'Histoire — New-York University
Russian revolution’s history and the socialist project promoted by the Bolsheviks can not be isolated from the long 20th century’s European history. While Russia celebrated last year the popular revolt centenary, Yannis Kotsonis looks back on the 1917 event, examining its ideological legacy in relation to current issues like the welfare state. The NYU researcher presents a historiographical overview of the movement and underlines its links with the liberal revolutions. He argues that the movement was not only political seeking to obtain individual and juridical emancipation. The historian also underlines its innovative social dimension by showing that the material existence conditions were at the core of the new regime’s ambitions.
The 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution invites to look back on its legacy and on the historiographical tensions that this ideological project provoked. Rather than consider it as an “illusion”, Yannis Kotsonis prefers to show how current debates about welfare state could be enriched by examining the russian legislation of this period.
Interview published on 03-01-2018
Last modified on 10-25-2022
Original language: English Lire la version French
  • Biography
  • Bibliography of Yannis Kotsonis
  • Thematic bibliography

States of Obligation: Citizenship and Taxation in Imperial and Early Soviet Russia, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2014.

“Ordinary People in Russian and Soviet History”, Kritika, n° 12-3, 2011, p. 739-54.

“A European Experience: Human Rights and Citizenship in Revolutionary Russia”, in J. N. Wasserstrom, G. Grandin, L. Hunt, M. B. Young (ed.), Human Rights and Revolutions, Oxford, Bowman and Littlefield, 2007, chapter 5.

“‘No Place to Go’: Taxation and State Transformation in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia”, The Journal of Modern History, n° 76, 2004, p. 531-577.

(with David Hoffmann), Russian Modernity: Knowledge and Practices, 1800-1940, Londres, New York, Macmillan, 2000.

Making Peasants Backward: Agricultural Cooperatives and the Agrarian Question in Russia, 1861-1914, Londres, New York, Macmillan, 1999.

“The Ideology of Martin Malia”, Russian Review, n° 58-1, 1999, p. 124-130.

François Furet, Penser la Révolution française, Paris, Gallimard, 1978.

Martin Malia, Comprendre la révolution russe, Paris, Le Seuil, 1980.

François Furet, Le Passé d’une illusion. Essai sur l’idée communiste au XXe siècle, Paris, Robert Laffont, Calmann Levy, 1995.

Martin Malia, L’Occident et l’énigme russe: du cavalier de bronze au mausolée de Lénine, Paris, Le Seuil, 2003.

Stephen Kotkin, Stalin, Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928, vol. 1, New-York, Penguin Press, 2014.