A Colonial Empire Without Colonies: Russia’s State Colonialism in Comparative Perspective
This paper argues that the Russian empire was a colonial empire in denial. Similar to other European empires, Russia’s policies and practices were colonial in nature. It was particularly so in the Asian parts of the empire, where Russian expansion evolved from a non-settler to a settler form of colonialism. However, unlike other European empires, Russian authorities consistently and consciously denied Russia’s colonial nature. What distinguished the Russian empire from its European counterparts was the dominant role of the state and a type of state colonialism that European empires began to practice at a much later stage.