Count K.K. Pahlen

Count K.K. Pahlen

The HPRS Department at SHSS is pleased to announce the publication of:

Alexander Morrison

“Creating a Colonial Shari’a for Russian Turkestan. Count Pahlen, the Hidaya, and Anglo-Muhammadan Law”

in: Volker Barth & Roland Cvetkovski (ed.) Imperial Co-operation and Transfer, 1870-1930 Empires and Encounters (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015) pp. 127-149.

Abstract: This paper examines an instance of colonial ‘borrowing’ by the Russian colonial regime in Turkestan in the early 1900s. It looks at Russian interest in the policies of other colonial powers (primarily Britain and France) to help them solve problems of governance and administration among the Muslims of their Central Asian possessions. This led the commission of inspection led by Senator Count K. K. Pahlen, which toured the region in 1908-9, to attempt to use a code of Anglo-Muhammadan law developed in British India as the basis for a colonial codification of the Shari‘a in Turkestan. This attempt ended in fiasco, but it is revealing of Russian participation in a common colonial enterprise in the Muslim world, and of a shared colonial episteme.

A version of this paper is available at this link.