The humanities and social science

2023 Issue №4

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Training of scientific personnel in the history of Russian law in the Russia Abroad (1920—1930s): Harbin and Prague



The article examines the system of training academic personnel in the history of the Russian state and law at the law faculties of the Russian Abroad in Harbin and Prague in the 1920—1930s. The main sources include case-related documentation from the archives of Russian institutions (State Archive of the Russian Federation, Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, State Archive of the Rostov Region), memoirs, and publications by contemporary emigrant scholars. It is argued that the training system for this discipline did not have the opportunity to develop in the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire, as the academic degree category “History of Russian Law” was only introduced in 1915. Consequently, the preparation of students at the department for professorial candidacy had a largely innovative character in the higher education institutions of the Russian emigration. Considerable attention was paid to the training of specialists in the history of Russian law at both faculties. However, the shortage of well-established academic staff in Harbin necessitated sending students to European research centers. In Prague, an independent training system for this discipline emerged. Nevertheless, the outcome proved to be unproductive—with only one master’s and one doctoral dissertation in the field of the history of Russian law within the framework of the pre-revolutionary Russian tradition defended (by M. V. Shakhmatov).