Dr Matthew Rendle

Research interests

I am interested in most aspects of Russian history during the late Imperial and revolutionary periods. 

I have published a number of articles on the nobility, officers and landowners during this period, and their role in the revolution was also the subject of my recent book; Defenders of the Motherland: The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia (Oxford University Press, 2010) [http://www.oup.com/uk/catalogue/?ci=9780199236251]. I have just completed two chapters on tsarist elites, including the clergy and business elites, for an edited volume and I am currently planning a study of the nobility in Imperial Russia (1613-1917).

My current project uses a study of revolutionary tribunals during Russia's civil war (1917-22) to examine changing definitions of crime during this period, the concept of revolutionary 'justice', the interaction between regime and society, and the role of law and violence in the formation of the Soviet state, and is entitled The State Versus The People: Revolutionary Justice in Russia's Civil War 1917-22’. Various aspects of this research have been funded by a research fellowship from the The Leverhulme Trust (2011-12), which financed a period of leave, and a small grant from the British Academy (2012-13), which funded several research trips to archives and libraries in Russia, the UK and the US. The first fruits of this research have been published as articles in Historical ResearchEurope-Asia Studies and Slavonic and European Review. I have also written a piece on justice across the revolutionary divide, which examines continuity and change in conceptions of justice across 1917. The objectives of the broad project are the subject of a longer piece in The International Newsletter of Communist Studies, XVIII (2012), no. 25, pp. 56-59, available at http://newsletter.icsap.de/home/data/pdf/INCS_25_ONLINE.pdf

I am also working on an article on civil society in Russia across the revolutionary period and have recently written on Moscow province between 1914 and 1922. I have also acted as guest editor for a special issue of Historical Research commemorating the centenary of 1917: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hisr.v90.247/issuetoc (articles free to
access in 2017!).

I have written twenty-two book reviews, which have been published in Agricultural History Review, American Historical ReviewEuropean History QuarterlyFirst World War StudiesIntelligence and National Security, Journal of Modern History, Labor History, Revolutionary RussiaSlavonic and East European Review and The Russian Review. I have reviewed grants for various funding bodies, book proposals for various publishers and articles for numerous journals.

I am also the Co-Editor of Revolutionary Russia, a longstanding interdisciplinary journal focusing on the revolutionary period in Russian history [http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/09546545.asp]. There is currently a virtual special issue of the journal available to commemorate 1917: http://explore.tandfonline.com/content/pgas/1917-russian-revolution-vsi which is compiled from some of the best articles on 1917 published in the journal over the last 29 years. The journal is also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/russia_journal

I am a member of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies; Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies; and the Study Group on the Russian Revolution.

Past and future research papers include:

'Corruption on Trial: Crimes of Office, Law and Legitimising State Power', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Chicago, USA, November 2017

'From Magna Carta to the Russian Revolution: Pamphlets, Political Discourse and English Influences during 1917', War, Revolution and Empire in Russian History: A Workshop in Honour of David Saunders, Newcastle University, May 2017  

'The Legacy of the 1917 February Revolution in Contemporary Russia and the Wider World', Gorwel: The Welsh Foundation for Innovation in Public Affairs, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff, February 2017

'The Legacy of the 1917 Februar Revolution in Contemporar Russia and the Wider World', University of South Wales, Pontypridd, February 2017

'The Legacy of 1917 and the USSR in Contemporary Russia', Historical Association, Exeter Branch, December 2016

'The Legacy of the 1917 Revolution in Modern Russia', Historical Association, Cornwall Branch, November 2016

‘Defining Crimes and Criminals: Revolutionary Consciousness, Tribunals and Conceptions of Justice across Russia’s Civil War’, Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Philadelphia, USA, November 2015

‘Revolutionary Justice in Russia’s Revolution and Civil War, 1917-22’, Globalising the History of Revolutions, University College Dublin, October 2015

‘Revolutionary Justice, State-Building and Russia’s Civil War, 1917-22’, International Studies, Conflict and Security Seminar Series, Swansea, June 2015

‘Understanding Crimes and Criminals: Revolutionary Tribunals and Conceptions of Justice across Russia’s Civil War’, 7th Annual CRCEES Research Forum, Glasgow, June 2015

‘The Problem of the ‘Local’ in Revolutionary Russia: Moscow Province, 1914-1922’, Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Seminar, St Antony’s College, Oxford, May 2014

‘Revolutionary Justice in Russia’s Civil War’, Historical Association, Exeter Branch, January 2014

'Revolutionary Tribunals and the Law in Provincial Russia, 1917-1922', Association of Slavonic, East European and Eurasian Studies Congress, Boston, USA, November 2013
'How Revolutionary was 'Revolutionary Justice'? Popular Conceptions of Justice and the Courts, 1900s-1930s', Across 1917 Workshop, Cambridge, April 2013
'Revolutionary Tribunals and the Role of 'Revolutionary Justice' in Early Soviet Russia', British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies / International Council for Central and Eastern European Studies European Congress, Cambridge, April 2013
'Justice and Terror in Revolutionary Russia', History Society Lecture, Dauntsey's School, October 2012
'Mercy amid Terror? Amnesties and Tribunals during Russia's Civil War', The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Glasgow, January 2012 
‘Civil Society in Revolutionary Russia’, delivered as part of a panel entitled ‘Across 1917 – Society, Culture and Identity’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies, Cambridge, April 2011
‘Defining the ‘Political’ Crime: Revolutionary Tribunals in Early Soviet Russia’, at a conference entitled ‘Villains and Victims: Justice, Violence, and Retribution in Late Imperial and Early Soviet Russia’, Nottingham, April 2010
‘The Tsarist Elite in Revolutionary Russia’, Centre for Russian Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, December 2009
'The Tsarist Elite, Democracy and the Russian Revolution', Department of History and Welsh History Research Seminar, Aberystwyth University, February 2008
‘The Union of Officers and Russian Revolutionary Democracy’, The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Aberdeen, January 2008
 ‘The Persistence of the Tsarist Regime: Examining the Process of Revolution’, British Association of Slavonic and East European Studies, Cambridge, April 2005
‘Disintegration or Unity: The Paradox of the Russian Noble Family during the Revolution’, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, Boston, USA, December 2004
‘Untapped Riches: Studying the Russian Nobility in 1917’, The Study Group on the Russian Revolution, Durham, January 2001