The journal’s topical issue includes articles by the participants of the international academic conference that took place at the Russian State University of the Humanities in March 2018. The authors focus on discussing the issues of wars and revolutions as the context for the destruction of continental empires, of continuity and disruptions within imperial spaces, of the relationship between national and imperial identities as well as the export of ideas and political strategies during the state systems’ transformation process.
The contributors look at the collapse of four multi-national empires — the Austro- Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman — through the lens of various factors — domestic and international, subjective and objective, predictable and unanticipated. Furthermore, the authors reflect on aspects related to Russia’s entrapment in the war after the February Revolution, the Bolshevik’s decision to end Russia’s participation in the war and sign the treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the West’s “New Russian Policy”, which remain central to investigating the final stage of World War I. In the issue the post-war settlement of Europe and the new principles of international relations in connection with formation of permanent conflict zones as well as Woodrow Wilson’s program of the world’s peace are discussed.
The Russian State University for the Humanities international conference and the presented proceedings demonstrated a variety of approaches in studying different aspects of World War I in modern Russian and world historiography. It denotes the necessity of analyzing geopolitical, socio-cultural, and economic implications of this world conflict based on the achievements of national schools of historiography, using new sources and interdisciplinary research practices.
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