Download The Politics of Cultural Retreat: Imperial Bureaucracy in by Iryna Vushko PDF

By Iryna Vushko

An illuminating background of state-building, nationalism, and paperwork, this ebook tells the tale of ways a world cohort of Austrian officers from Bohemia, Hungary, the Hapsburg Netherlands, Italy, and a number of other German states administered Galicia from its annexation from Poland-Lithuania in 1772 until eventually the start of Polish autonomy in 1867. Historian Iryna Vushko examines the interactions among those German-speaking bureaucrats and the neighborhood Galician inhabitants of Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews. She finds how Enlightenment-inspired theories of modernity and supranational uniformity basically backfired, finally bringing approximately effects that starkly contradicted the unique intentions and beliefs of the imperial governors.

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31 In his capacity as enlightened despot, the emperor saw himself as the primary critic of his own creation. To him, the sine qua non of administrative routine was hierarchical compliance, ideally voluntary rather than enforced; in any case, those who did not fulfill their designated task did not deserve the status of new bureaucrat. But Joseph II enjoyed no actual monopoly on political critique, and in the 1770s and 1780s, satirical descriptions of imperial bureaucrats constituted a literary genre of seemingly broad appeal.

31 In his capacity as enlightened despot, the emperor saw himself as the primary critic of his own creation. To him, the sine qua non of administrative routine was hierarchical compliance, ideally voluntary rather than enforced; in any case, those who did not fulfill their designated task did not deserve the status of new bureaucrat. But Joseph II enjoyed no actual monopoly on political critique, and in the 1770s and 1780s, satirical descriptions of imperial bureaucrats constituted a literary genre of seemingly broad appeal.

Even during the glory years of the monarchy, its bureaucracy was more pitiful than rational, mired in hierarchical disorganization and unfathomable in its complexity. Theoretically composed of the best and most talented citizens, in reality it was often the opposite. What became of this bureaucracy of genius and the almost a-­historic monarchy that, it seemed to many contemporaries, could never end? The questions that preoccupied Austrian writers after 1918 have since made their way into scholarship of the Habsburg Monarchy and Central Europe.

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