BELOZEROV V.K. Genesis of the Study of War as a Political Phenomenon in Pre-Revolutionary Russia


Vasily K. Belozerov

Doctor of Sciences (Politics), Professor, Head of the Department of Political Science,

Moscow State Linguistic University,

Ostozhenka St, 38, Bld. 1, 119034 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article explores the conceptualization of war as a political phenomenon in prerevolutionary Russia and presents its results for theory and practice. For this purpose, the article studies and interprets the origins of political ideas about war, the occurrence of political content in its scientific understanding, the emergence and development of various paradigms for its understanding as a political phenomenon and the conceptualization of Russia’s superior strategy.

Methods and methodology. The research methodology is based on political realism and the recognition of war as an actual phenomenon. The choice of works for analysis stems from the connection of their content with political issues. The article studies political situations and processes that caused the enhancement of research into war as a political phenomenon.

Analysis. The first political perceptions of the phenomenon of war began taking shape in Russia in the second half of the 17th century and they reveal an understanding of the link between war and politics. The formation of the knowledge system about war and military activities took place without political understanding and contained a significant element of borrowing from outside. In relation to the formation of the science of war, there was also a theoretical understanding of its political content. In the second third of the 19th century scientific discussions began, in which two approaches based on the decision to recognize the political content of war were formed. Eventually, an approach that essentially negates the primacy of political institutions prevailed in military science and in the education of military personnel, which had negative consequences for theory and practice.

Results. The study of war as a political phenomenon in pre-revolutionary Russia formed dialectical and metaphysical approaches with the latter dominating and being followed by representatives of official military science. It can be stated that there is a problem of method in the study of war, which is manifested in modern conditions.

Key words: theory of war, pre-revolutionary Russia, war as a political phenomenon, strategy, methodology and method.

Citation. Belozerov V.K. Genesis of the Study of War as a Political Phenomenon in Pre-Revolutionary Russia. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2021, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 190-200. (in Russian). DOI:

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Genesis of the Study of War as a Political Phenomenon in Pre-Revolutionary Russia by Belozerov V.K. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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