Current projects

| Nikolay Sieber

Nikolay Sieber

Redefining classical political economy: The Swiss and Russian economist and sociologist N. I. Sieber


Bilateral programme Swiss (SNF) – Russia (RHF). Duration : 2016–2019


Karl Marx’s Capital quickly became a bestseller in Imperial Russia, with swift translations of its successive volumes into Russian. But, because of changing censorship decisions, Capital became scarce, and the Russians initially discovered Karl Marx’s economic theories through the mediation offered in the early 1870s by Nikolay Ivanovich Sieber (1844–1888). The influence exerted by this Russian-Swiss economist on the birth of Russian Marxism, as well as the fact that he first translated and interpreted David Ricardo’s economic theory in Russia should not be neglected: Sieber durably shaped the understanding in Russia of classical political economy. Today, he is almost unknown in the West, and about to be forgotten in Russia.


The project aims to restore Siebe’s legacy, by establishing him as an important figure in classical European political economy, via the publication of three volumes. The first is an intellectual biography of Sieber. The second is the first accessible translation of his major work (from Russian to English), David Ricardo’s Theory of Value and Capital, etc. (Kiev, 1871). The third is an anthology by and on Sieber in the Russian language.


The two research teams, based in Lausanne and Saint-Petersburg, specialized in the history of economic thought, will explore the archives in the two countries where Sieber lived (Russia and Switzerland), to carry out the interpretation and critical edition of his work.


Swiss Applicant: François Allisson (UNIL)
Russian Applicant: Danila E. Raskov (St. Petersburg State University)
Collaborator in Switzerland: Federico D’Onofrio (UNIL)
Russian Partners: Leonid D. Shirokorad and Aleksandr N. Dubyansky (St. Petersburg State University)

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