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War Unmakes the State? Austria-Hungary's Internal Wars, 1914-1918

Lecture | September 14 | 5-6:30 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall


John Deak, University of Notre Dame

Institute of European Studies, GHI West - Pacific Regional Office of the German Historical Institute Washington DC, Center for German and European Studies


After decades of state-building success, Austria-Hungary collapsed totally and utterly in 1918. For many years, historians have argued that this ramshackle empire was an anachronism, unfit to live among modern nation states in the twentieth century, and therefore it was destined to fall. But such thinking ignores the dynamics unleashed by the First World War, including the state of exception and military incursions into civilian affairs. Dear will discuss how the Habsburg state was transformed into something new during the First World War.
John Deak is the Carl E. Koch Associate Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Forging a Multinational State: State-Making in Imperial Austria from the Enlightenment to the First World War (Stanford 2015). He is currently working on a history of the collapse of the Habsburg state in the First World War with Jonathan Gumz (University of Birmingham, UK). Their first foray into the subject will be published in October 2017 in the American Historical Review.


heike@berkeley.edu, 510-643-4558