"Spies and Scholars explores centuries of Russian spying and scholarship on the Far East. In the seventeenth century, Russian bureaucrats were focused on China and the forbidding Siberian frontier. They relied more on spies, including Jesuit scholars stationed in China. In the early nineteenth century, the geopolitical challenge shifted to Europe: rivalry with Britain drove the Russians to stake their prestige on public-facing intellectual work, and knowledge of the East was embedded in the academy. None of these institutional configurations was especially effective in delivering strategic or commercial advantages. But various knowledge regimes did have their consequences. Knowledge filtered through Russian espionage and publication found its way to Europe, informing the encounter between China and Western empires"-- Provided by publisher.
Part I. Muscovite statecraft and hybrid knowledge: Muscovy on the knowledge frontier Seeing China through Russian eyes Part II. Bureaucrats and their secrets: Secret missions, troublesome missionaries Scholarship and expertise at home and abroad The caravan as a knowledge bureaucracy The commerce of long-distance letters Part III. Remaking knowledge on the frontier: Frontier intelligence and the struggle for Inner Asia Spies and subversion in Eastern Siberia Part IV. Intelligence and sinology in search of world power: Imperial encounters in the North Pacific Making Russian sinology in the Age of Napoleon Conspiracy and conquest on the Amur.