Before discussing aspects of the Governor-Generalship of Dame Quentin Bryce, I ought to issue the disclaimer that it is always possible that my views are influenced by the fact that she was my tutor in administrative law at the University of Queensland in, I think, 1979.
Earlier in her Governor-Generalship, of course, there was a real risk that the Governor-General might have to exercise her individual discretion or reserve powers.
Just as it is easy for a historian of European Russia to overlook the colonial nature of Turkestan's administration, so (as I have discovered) a historian of Turkestan can easily fail to appreciate the differences that existed between the military regime there and that in the steppe governor-generalship, can mistakenly assume that Kazan and Ufa provinces were governed under the same legal regime, or lump the Volga-Ural region together with the western borderlands as part of a single, European "metropole." If the Russian Empire lacked the bewildering heterogeneity of the British, with its patchwork of self-governing dominions, crown colonies, and protectorates, it had more subtle variations of its own, which are often very difficult to grasp.
(87) The European governor-generalships of the empire were mostly liquidated in the 1850s and 1860s.