October 15, 2022
5 figures, 27 tables, 1 map
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.1 Pounds (US)
$65.00 USD, £47.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Policemen of the Tsar

Local Police in an Age of Upheaval

Founded by Peter the Great in 1718, Russia's police were key instruments of tsarist power. In the reign of Alexander II (1855-1881), local police forces took on new importance. The liberation of 23 million serfs from landlord control, growing fear of crime, and the terrorist violence of the closing years challenged law enforcement with new tasks that made worse what was already a staggering burden. ("I am obliged to inform Your Imperial Highness that the police often fail to carry out their assignments and, when they do execute them, they do so poorly because of their moral corruption") This book describes the regime's decades-long struggle to reform and strengthen the police. The author reviews the local police's role and performance in the mid-nineteenth century and the implications of the largely unsuccessful effort to transform them. From a longer-term perspective, the study considers how the police's systemic weaknesses undermined tsarist rule, impeded a range of liberalizing reforms, perpetuated reliance on the military to maintain law and order, and gave rise to vigilante justice.

While its primary focus is on European Russia, the analysis also covers much of the imperial periphery, discussing the police systems in the Baltic Provinces, Congress Poland, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Siberia.

About the Author

Robert Abbott has a PhD from Princeton University. He has worked as a university instructor, intelligence analyst, and consultant to US intelligence and law enforcement agencies.


"Policemen of the Tsar is a significant and original contribution to the history of the late imperial period and especially to our knowledge of the reign of Alexander II. The police was one of the chief institutions of the tsarist state, an essential force for fighting crime and maintaining order, one of the few government institutions that reached into the world of the peasantry and urban lower classes. But despite its importance, Western historians of Russia have failed to give the police the attention it deserved. Abbott's book goes a long way in solving this problem."—Richard G. Robbins, Jr.
Central European University Press

9789633865750 : policemen-of-the-tsar-abbott
October 15, 2022
$65.00 USD

Other Titles in HISTORY / Russia & the Former Soviet Union

Origins Of The Gulag

Michael Jakobson
Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$20.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Imperial Designs, Post-Imperial Extremes

edited by Andrei Cusco, Victor Taki
Jun 2023 - Central European University Press
$85.00 USD - Hardback

Varieties of Russian Activism

edited by Jeremy Morris, Andrei Semenov, Regina Smyth, with contributions by Katie L. Stewart, Madeline McCann, Carola Neugebauer, Irina Shevtsova, Daniela Zupan, Irina Meyer-Olimpieva, Katherine Hitchcock, John P. Burgess, Anna Zhelnin...
May 2023 - Indiana University Press
$80.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in History

The Austrian Second Republic (Contemporary Austrian Studies, Vol 31)

edited by Marc Landry, Eva Pfanzelter
Oct 2022 - University of New Orleans Press
$40.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Free-Market Socialists

Joseph Malherek
Sep 2022 - Central European University Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback

The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture

Jeannie L. Johnson, foreword by Jim Mattis
May 2018 - Georgetown University Press
$110.95 USD - Hardback
$36.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$36.95 USD - Electronic book text