Questioning the concept of “empire” the author proposes its understanding as Wittgensteinian “family resemblance” changing over time and space. The article explores the possible application of the concept to the Soviet context, notably from the viewpoint of the mobilisation of ethnic and supra-ethnic nationalism. The issue of citizenship, central in the notion of the imperial state and a key difference between the Russian empire and the USSR, has been let aside the discussion.

The Redaction
CER: II-3.1.D-142