The Newsletter 70 Spring 2015

Debates on nomadic feudalism in Soviet thought

Nikolay Kradin

The discussion in Soviet anthropology and historiography of the social and political organization of nomadic societies has passed through several stages. In the 1920s and early 1930s, many approaches were explored: some researchers spoke in favour of the primitive tribal nature of nomadic societies, while others persisted in stressing their statehood character. Since the mid-1930s, with the establishment of the Stalinist regime and the beginning of mass repressions and genocide against the Soviet people, the theory of nomadic feudalism came to prevail.