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Nadja Weck

Abstract

The advantages of the railway were recognized not only in Vienna. In the Habsburg Empire's provinces, too, people banked on this new type of transportation as a bringer of progress. Using the example of Galicia, this article shows how the initiative and the involvement of local actors promoted the building of a railway network in the north-eastern crownland. It focuses on the main motives for the implementation of the railway in Vienna versus those in Lemberg (Lwów, Lviv). The article is divided into three parts. While the first part deals with the expectations raised by the railway, the second part concentrates on the political circumstances which accompanied the construction of the Galician railway network. The third part focuses on the Galician capital as a traffic junction in a polycentric railway network.

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Luigi Blanco

Abstract

The essay analyses the relationship between administration and territory at the birth of the Italian unitary state. Following the discussions of the time involving scholars of diverse disciplinary provenance, politicians, and administrators, the essay highlights the main problems encountered by the design of the administrative districts of the new Kingdom of Italy: the territorial contradictions and the imbalances that conditioned their initial structure and subsequent history; the legacy of the boundaries and internal territorial divisions of the former states of the peninsula; the various proposals put forward for the country’s regional organization by geographers, statisticians and politicians, even before the completion of unification; the territorial and administrative problems of the new state: natural or artificial districts, small or large provinces, the weight of municipalities, projects of regionalization; the contribution of new sciences, such as geography and statistics; the choice of administrative centralization, with its inevitable consequences on the boundaries of territorial partitions, linked to the ›exceptionality‹ of the historical moment.

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Recht, Staat und Krieg

›Verwirklichte Unwahrscheinlichkeiten‹ in der Habsburgermonarchie

Peter Becker

Abstract

I have used Joseph Redlich’s witty characterization of the Habsburg monarchy as the »old empire of realized improbabilities« to explore the strained relations between state and society, between public officials and the State resp. the monarch during the First World War. Relying on a close reading of the debates at and decisions of the Austrian Supreme Court, I look at the improbable coexistence of the state of exception and the rule of law, of the codification of service regulations and the solipsistic engagement with them by public servants. I am particularly interested in the role of these ›realized improbabilities‹ for the delegitimization of monarchical rule.

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Stefan Couperus, Harm Kaal, Nico Randeraad and Paul van Trigt

Abstract

In contrast to the image of the Netherlands as a solid state since the early modern period, this article argues that Dutch statehood was the product of a hard-won process that required a good part of the 19th century to reach any sort of administrative consolidation. We look at state building from a decentered perspective, not so much from above or below, but rather from the middle, concentrating on the province of South Holland, and from within, foregrounding the piecemeal fine-tuning of the administrative system at the provincial level. We show that every administrative intervention had a spatial element or – to put it differently – created its own spatiality. The province, in that sense, was not a fixed territorial entity, but an amalgamation of spatial properties, depending on the administrative issue at stake.

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Pragmatismus, Delegieren und Routinebildung

Zum Verhältnis vormoderner Verwaltungspraxis und Herrschaftsausübung

Birgit Näther

Abstract

On the basis of what structures, and according to what kinds of deliberations and considerations, did premodern administrations work? This article uses the example of early modern visitations in Bavaria to show how important pragmatism was in administrative practice, and how and with what consequences routines were developed. It is a plea for an interpretation of administrative work beyond current assumptions and epoch boundaries.

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Bettina Severin-Barboutie

Abstract

The volume »Les Maires en France du Consulat à nos jours«, published in France in 1986, was the first historical work to open long-term perspectives on French mayors in the 19th and 20th century. On the one hand, these perspectives resulted from the data obtained within the framework of a quantitative long-term analysis; on the other hand, they relied on qualitative explorations of selected administrative units or regions. In re-reading »Les Maires en France du Consulat à nos jours«, this article shows that the volume has remained a reference work for the history of French municipalities until today, even though it does not always allow answering current research questions.

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Kafka in Habsburg

Mythen und Effekte der Bürokratie

Burkhardt Wolf

Abstract

From the very beginning, Habsburgian literature was closely tied to the Empire’s »bureaucracy« – both to the administrative apparatus and to the class of officials who claimed this title as their own. The fact that numerous authors were recruited from this class may well have helped to create the »Habsburg myth«: the literary romanticisation of bureaucrats as loyal to the Emperor and as cultural pillars of a variegated empire that never accomplished to be a state in the modern sense. However, a real tie-up between the citizens and the bureaucracy, for which proof can be found still today and which is referred to as the »Habsburg effect«, is likely to have arisen due to the welfare state set up in the latter years of the Danube monarchy. Franz Kafka played a part in this. In addition to his articles and talks for the »Workmen’s Accident Insurance Bureau«, his literary texts also showed Kafka to be an analyst and reformer of both the old and new bureaucracy. Far from being mutually exclusive, his official duties and his writing constituted two aspects of one and the same enterprise: Kafka sought to free bureaucracy from the old Habsburg mythology; to repurpose it informally into an arbitrator in the class war and the conflict of nations; to give those it served a greater involvement in its workings; and to test the scope of a future bureaucracy that would be permanently reformed and ultimately indistinguishable from the social life. Kafka’s tales thus contain unique accounts of the Habsburg bureaucracy and of the myths and effects peculiar to it, for they keep the minutes of Habsburgian administration, while oscillating between the perspective of officialdom and that of an increasingly »colonised environment«.

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The ›Head of Household‹

A Long Normative History of a Statistical Category in the U.K

Kerstin Brückweh

Abstract

The household forms an important category in social science research. It is used to collect data, to classify it and to represent the results. However, what seems to be a simple listing of facts becomes less clear when a basic question is raised: What is a household? Is it a family living under one roof? Is a roof limited to a house, or does a flat already constitute a household? Do members of a household have to be officially related, meaning married, adopted etc., or even related by blood? And how do households and definitions of households differ over time and space? Some definitions like the United Nations’s dwelling concept, for example, sound pragmatic with little regard to the social relationships of the actual human beings living in a household. However, there are indeed power relations within a household (e.g. between parents and children). Social scientists also observed these everyday asymmetries and therefore constructed a hierarchy in social classifications when they placed the household in a specific class according to the ›Head of Household‹ or the ›Household Reference Person‹, the ›Chief Wage Earner‹, the ›Householder‹ etc. The different designations of the reference person indicate that it is not an easy task to name this person or to define this person without a normative bias. By taking the example of Great Britain, this article demonstrates that the definition of the ›Head of Household‹ was a normative category rather than a descriptive one, meaning that it was less able to facilitate analysis of social reality and that it fortified a normative view with the help of statistics. While feminists and other historical actors in different states, for example the U.S., already criticised the normative bias of the definition in the 1960s and 1970s, a different question seems to be of equal or even greater importance to the historian: How, when and why did different nations and professions decide to drop the normative in favour of a descriptive definition of the ›Head of Household‹? This leads to a more general question: How did administrators, statisticians and other survey researchers deal with the aim of long-term stability of statistical categories for the sake of comparability, e.g. in a national census, on the one hand, and with adaption to societal change on the other hand? In taking the example of the United Kingdom, the following story combines aspects of a history of knowledge with administrative history.

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Josef Löffler

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyze the relation between manorial administration, the emerging state, and space in the Austrian and Bohemian lands of the Habsburg monarchy between the end of the 18th century and the abolishment of the manorial system in 1848. The themes that will be discussed are the spaces of manorial administration, with a focus on the various manorial rights and their spatial relation to each other; the role of manors in the state-building process, which in the Habsburg Monarchy is closely linked with the reform period in the second half of the 18th century; and finally the relationship between state, manors, and subjects in the first half of the 19th century, with emphasis on administrative practice.

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