The State as an Actor: Due the Problem of the Formation Kharkiv Territory (Second Half of 18th – Begining of 20th Century)


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The article is about the role of the Empire Authority in the process of formation Kharkiv territory during second half of XVIIIth – begining of XXth century. This theme is important in due to the reform of city self-government after 2015 in Ukraine. The research is based on the Actor-Network theory by Bruno Latour (ANT). All processes with ANT are described as the interaction between actors (human and non-human). ANT now is well-known methodology in Urban Studies. Last year was published special volume of “Urban History” devoted to the rethinking Urban Studies from the point of view of ANT. We traced the interaction between the Russian empire state authority and other actors who had created Kharkiv territory. The aim is to understand the scale of the Empire Authority influence. The research is interdisciplinary because based on the works of historians, architects, sociologists and urban developments as well. J. Scott argued that state plans of development can’t make people’s life better in his book «Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed». But the author imagine interaction between people and state like a hard struggle. A. Cuthbert show more actors influence on the urban development including nature, ideology, gender and so on. The Empire Authority in Kharkiv was represented with at least three actors – the governor, the special building laws and plans of urban development. In this article for our aim we analyzed only traces of one actor – plans of Kharkiv urban development during the end of XVIII – early ХХ century. There were plans of 1765, 1786, 1787, 1822, 1829 years from the Empire Authority. In the end of the XIX century actor, who made plans, was changed. In 1885, 1895 the City Government (Kharkiv Miska Duma) with the help of Kharkiv architects and land-surveyors made new plans of urban development. Plans from the Empire Authority are available in collections of laws of the Russian Empire (Polnoe sobranie zakonov Rosiyskoy imperii). The plan of 1885 we found in the Kharkiv Historical museum. Describing of Kharkiv territory from the early ХІХ сentury and city maps 1871 and 1902 helped us to understand the result of these plans. Plans made by the Empire Authority were not realized because of different actors – relief, bad condition of the land that had to be built up, lack of finance and so on. But the main actors, in our opinion, were private developer – people, who didn’t want to rebuild their houses accordingly to the Empire Plans and lack of local professionals, who would established these plans in Kharkiv. The plans made by local power were also failed, first of all because of lack of finance. The City Government didn’t have his own sufficient source of money. This conclusion lead us to understand that the role of the Empire Authority was not main in the process of urban development in Kharkiv. And the mediator of the Empire Authority – local city government can’t realized its plans as well. But only the Empire Authority can affirm the official borders of the city territory and borders of power of the urban laws. [/restab]

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territory, plan, map, actor, state, Kharkiv, Russian Empire. [/restab]

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