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The article deals with the history of doctrinal formation of the content of the charter of voluntary association of Late Imperial Russia, as well as the role of the charter in regulating the phenomenon of social self-organization. This problem is practically don't studied in the scientific literature. It is based on the involvement of a broad corpus of published sources (constituent documents of public organizations, materials of clerical work of public institutions, etc.) and archives (documents of the RGIA). The legal policy of the Russian government aimed at establishing uniformity in the content of constituent documents of voluntary societies and the principles of their relationship with the state according to the creation, re-registration, termination of societies is analyzed. This national framework is assessed from the standpoint of the content of corporate regulation in Late Imperial Russia, the degree of intervention of the state in this process. Russian and European sources for the formation of corporate legislation on voluntary associations are considered. The analysis of constituent documents of various groups of organizations in prerevolutionary Russia takes a significant place. They are studied according to the content, structure, general and special features, field of activity. The authors investigate how independent creativity of the founders was expressed when drawing up the charters of organizations that do not fully comply with typical constituent documents, find out its meaning and boundaries. The authors come to the conclusion that the charters gave Russian associations substantial autonomy in the inner life (defining goals and objectives, methods of capital formation, requirements for categories of members, etc.), but rather strictly prescribed the “external” context of their functioning, coupled with the interaction with state authorities.

About the authors

Anastasiya S. Tumanova

National Research University «Higher School of Economics»

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor, Professor, Department of General and Intersectoral Legal Disciplines, Academic Director of the Educational Program «History, Theory and Philosophy of Law», Faculty of Law, Center for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, Leading Researcher

452, 3 B. Tryokhsvyatitelsky Pereulok, 109028, Moscow, Russia

Alexander A. Safonov

National Research University «Higher School of Economics»


Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor, Professor, Department of General and Intersectoral Legal Disciplines, Faculty of Law

452, 3 B. Tryokhsvyatitelsky Pereulok, 109028, Moscow, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2020 Tumanova A.S., Safonov A.A.

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