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Obscure Pages of the Eurasianist Movement: The Correspondence of P.N. Savitsky with N.I. Kareyev

[Maloizvestnye stranitsy evraziiskogo dvizheniia: perepiska P.N. Savitskogo s N.I. Kareevym]

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31857/S0869541522010067

Type of publication: Research Article

Submitted: 17.02 2021

Accepted: 06.06.2021

About author(s)

Evgeniya Dolgova | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3902-7142 | medievalis@list.ru | Russian State University for the Humanities (Miusskaya sq. 6, GSP-3, Moscow, 125047, Russia)
Alexey Malinov | https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1252-9193 | a.v.malinov@gmail.com | St. Petersburg University (7-9 Universitetskaya Emb., St. Petersburg, 199034, Russia)


Savitsky, Kareev, Gumilev, Eurasianism, mestorazvitie, intellectual dialogue, emigration, epistolary legacy, nomadic peoples


The article examines the correspondence between Pyotr Nikolaevich Savitsky, one of the key leaders of the Eurasianism movement in Russia of the 20th century, and the prominent historian Nikolai Ivanovich Kareev. This correspondence, discovered in manuscript archives of the Russian State Library, sheds light on Savitsky’s views, as a young Eurasianist, on the relationship between race and culture, which were expressed in response to Kareev’s critical comments and remarks. One of the most controversial issues in the correspondence is the discussion of the term mestorazvitie (local development). Drawing on historical cases, Savitsky expounds on the connection between culture, nation, and mestorazvitie, taking the latter to mean a “conformity between the cultural orientation of a given group and its chosen territory”. Further of interest and importance is Savitsky’s thinking on the subject of historical development; he called it nomogenez, detecting similarities between the idea of predetermination and the theory of biological evolution. We argue that the correspondence not only unwraps the minutiae of personal relationships of the interlocutors, but also illuminates the communication channels through which Eurasianism claimed its rights in the Russian academic discourse and gained its particular place and position in the Russian thought.

Funding Information

This research was supported by the following institutions and grants: Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation [registration number AAAA-A20-120070890028-5] (project number FSZG-2020-0019)


Dolgova, E.A., and A.V. Malinov. 2022. Maloizvestnye stranitsy evraziiskogo dvizheniia: perepiska P.N. Savitskogo s N.I. Kareevym [Obscure Pages of the Eurasianist Movement: The Correspondence of P.N. Savitsky with N.I. Kareyev]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 1: 84–102. https://doi.org/ 10.31857/S0869541522010067

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