Fin-de-siècle Central European scholarship takes on a different complexion, if it is approached from the perspective of politically responsible action. The article analyses neither scholarship involved into party politics nor apolitical scientific and scholarly activities but focuses on a specific approach: The scholars I am concerned with in this article strove for the strict division of science and politics; they nevertheless remained committed to political objectives such as improving social conditions. The approaches of Bernard Bolzano, Ernst Mach, Alois Riegl, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Otto Neurath, Hans Kelsen are taken into account.
This article focuses on the question of the relation between the subject of The Modern World-System by Immanuel Wallerstein and the theoretical object of worldsystem analysis as a multidisciplinary approach that he proposed for history and the social sciences. The importance of this approach as well as its theoretical deficiencies are shown by examining two unanswered critiques of the first volume of The Modern World-System — one coming from Robert Brenner and the second from Fernand Braudel.
In this study we investigate why bequests are left using a life course approach. Planned post mortem wealth transfers to children are linked with inter vivos transfers and inheritances left by the parents of the plan-makers. Individual decisions concerning wealth accumulation and bequeathing can be understood better if adjacent generations are taken into account. Moreover, particular events from an individual life history (widowhood, divorce, disease, and others) affect bequest decisions. A life course perspective proved fruitful in better understanding bequest behavior.
This article deals with the problem of the knowledge’s utility. This issue is considered from three perspectives. The dualistic perspective is based on the two-component structure: knowledge–reality; the subject–the object. In this regard, the knowledge’s utility is measured by the measure of the power that can be obtained over the world. From the monistic perspective knowledge is useful if it allows the internal improvement of the bearer of the knowledge. Knowledge in terms of the emergent system arises in the fluid cognitive relationship between components of changing system. Relations between the system (whole) and units (part of ) are variable and undetermined by the specificity of the individual components which are also reciprocal and mutually forming.
Philip Sabin points out that modern wargames not only contain substantial amounts of historical information but also arrange it into interactive models which depict historical processes in a simplified manner. Such models can be used in historical research as well, complementing the discourse through more holistic and mathematically strict accounts, and providing tools that impose some discipline on counter- factual speculation.
The article deals with the appropriation of postcolonial studies to look at Central Europe and Galicia. Beginning with the concept of“internal colonialism“, we follow the evolution of postcolonial theory from a basically economy-based concept into a poststructuralist cultural theory, presenting the development and uses of its central concepts, such as Orientalism or othering. Based on some examples, we also highlight its previous appropriation to Central Europe and the political implications it carries in this region.
The article applies postcolonial approaches to economic discourses in regard to Habsburg Galicia at the turn from the 18th to the 19th century, focusing on the reform discourses of the state bureaucracy, the Galician landlords and the Polish national movement with regard to serfdom and agrarian reform. Making use of Said’s concept of “orientalism”, the article’s main section is dedicated to the analysis of how the definition and construction of peasants as social actors influenced reforms of serfdom until it was finally abolished in course of the revolution of 1848. Here, several different simultaneous narratives, as well as varying positions in the course of time can be observed, where cultural differences were overlapping with social cleavages. Thus, a polycentric, but not polyvalent approach of power and rule could help deconstructing or at least questioning binary dichotomies, in the way that hegemony is always dependent on a complex web of political, social and economic relations in a spatial context.
The article integrates the 18th century vampire discourse with problems and approaches of postcolonial studies on the one hand, and with the Galicia research in historical and cultural studies on the other hand. For this purpose, vampirism and postcolonial studies are defined at first, while the change of the vampirism discourse – passing from the revenant image to the one of bloodsucker – is analysed in the next step. Finally it is shown how the vampire’s character and discourse have been adjusted and narratively transformed in 18th-century travel literature on Galicia
In this article, the imperial idea and civilising missions in the Habsburg Monarchy, mainly of the nineteenth century, are refracted through the prism of the legacy of enlightened absolutism. The article tries to dispel mythologies about its demise around 1800, and about those who could subscribe to its programme throughout the nineteenth century. It questions templates of national history writing which too unanimously connect the Enlightenment to the origins of the various national revivals of the early nineteenth century, and discusses concrete examples of enlightened absolutism’s civilising impulses, among them law, Roman imperial patriotism, and the Catholic religion.
Stefan Żeromski’s historical novel Popioły [Ashes] (1904) is usually interpreted as a narrative about the Napoleonic wars, particularly about Napoleon’s campaign in Spain. The paper argues that the fast-moving war plot conceals the philosophical question to which Żeromski tried to provide an answer: did the Austrian empire represent a superior way of organizing human society, or was the liberty of the Polish “Sarmatian” republic a more appropriate answer to the question of how to live? The issue is indirectly contested by virtually all characters. It comes to a head in the relationship between two seemingly secondary characters, the Austrian tax collector Hibl and the Polish landowner Nardzewski. The former resembles William Faulkner’s Flem Snopes; the latter, the noble families of the Sartorises defeated in the Civil War. Like in Faulkner’s novels, there is an unmistakable suggestion of gloria victis in Żeromski’s opus. Unlike Faulkner, Żeromski brings to bear the issue of white-on-white colonialism in Europe, and the paper’s author suggests that the eighteenth-century seizure of parts of Poland by Europe’s three continental empires was an instance of European colonialism that delayed the development of non-Germanic Central Europe and eventually brought about twentieth-century European wars.