Sidorova, M., Nazarov, D., Vakhrushina, M.
The Enlightenment as determinant of accounting change: The case of royal estate bookkeeping during the reign of Catherine II
(2019) Accounting History, 24 (2), pp. 185-211.
Foucault studied the change in the governmental practices of European countries under the influence of Enlightenment. The transition from intuitive actions of power to the rational ways of governing developed the need for experts as a group of people with professional knowledge. Our article focuses on experts as the key element of this concept. The article argues that the symmetry between governmental needs and the experts’ qualifications is the crucial factor in the application of new accounting techniques. We investigate an attempt to introduce an accounting innovation in the royal estate during the reign of Russian Empress Catherine II. The failure of this innovation can be attributed to the lack of skilled experts in public sector accounting. The authors came to this conclusion through analysis of the archival sources, including the account books of the Moscow Palace Office, which has not been widely academically discussed from that point of view before. © The Author(s) 2018.
accounting expertise; accounting history in Russia; Catherine II; Enlightenment; royal estate bookkeeping