Vladimir Burtsev and the Russian revolutionary emigration: surveillance of foreign political refugees in London, 1891-1905.
The thesis describes the early life in emigration of the Russian revolutionary, historian and radical journalist Vladimir L'vovich Burtsev (17/29 November 1862 - 21 August 1942). Particular emphasis is placed on the nature and extent of the police surveillance of Burtsev and the émigré community in Europe during the period. The relationship between the Criminal Investigation Department of London's Metropolitan Police and their Russian counterparts in Europe - the Zagranichnaia agentura, ('Foreign Agency') - is examined in detail. Burtsev's biography has great contemporary relevance, unfolding, as it does, in an atmosphere of increasing anxiety in Britain (both governmental and non-official) about growing numbers of foreign anarchists, terrorists, and `aliens' in general (which would lead, in due course, to the passing of the 1905 Aliens Act) and the increasingly interventionist police methods of the era. The thesis describes Burtsev's relationship with the émigré community and its British supporters, examines his (at times extreme) political views and reviews the radical journalism which led to his trial and imprisonment in 1898. This, the `Burtsev affair', signalled a major shift in British government policy towards political refugees on the one hand and to international counter-terrorist co-operation on the other and it is one of the aims of this thesis to detail the reasons for these changes.
- Theses