Tuesday 20th February 2018, Senior Parlour, Gonville and Caius College, 5-6:30pm
Christos Aliprantis (Cambridge): The Making of a European Panopticon: Austrian conservative policies and transnational political policing, 1849-1859
In the 1850s the Habsburg government organized a transnational political police system as a mean to securitize the empire from the increasingly globalized revolutionary movement(s), which had supposedly caused the upheavals of 1848. I argue that the Monarchy attempted to keep track of and neutralize the exiled political agitators of 1848 by establishing a so-called “European panopticon”. This means the maximization and more effective management of the Europe-wide police-produced information related to the revolution. The policing policy of the neoabsolutist regime (1849-1859) is analyzed here in a twofold manner. First, I examine the recruitment and dispatch of numerous secret agents to the exile destinations of the defeated revolutionaries (Great Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire). In particular, I discuss the structure, aims and personnel of this Pan-European intelligence network headquartered in Vienna vis-à-vis the émigré communities abroad. Secondly, I deal with the enactment of various undercover policing agreements and information exchanges between Austria and a multitude of European states (Saxony, France, Belgium, Naples) in the 1850s. I claim that this policy led to the unofficial formation of a “conservative international”, which was modelled analogically after the concurrent transnational revolutionary networks across Europe. Finally, I comment on the success or failure of the neoabsolutist political police and its broader impact on the modernizing trajectory of late imperial Austria.
Andreas Enderlin (University of Vienna): Informal ways to the Emperor’s Desk – The policy networks of Adolf Braun 1865–1899
Policy making in the Habsburg Empire was built on negotiations between various actors as well as on attempts by politicians, members of the regional and central governments, mediators, and the emperor to establish compromises in politically sensitive questions. In my Ph.D. project I explore the practice of informal policy making by analysing the networks of Adolf Braun, director of Francis Joseph’s cabinet office between 1865 and 1899. Political negotiations were informed by activities within informal networks. Following the lead of theoretically advanced political sciences (Grunden 2014; Rüb 2014) I embark on a systematic analysis of the ways in which individual, collective, and corporate actors employed informal policy networks to influence decisions in their favour. The letters preserved among Adolf Braun’s papers provide for the reconstruction of an ego-centred-network. My focus on the ego-centred network of Braun demonstrates how the cabinet office operated as a nodal point in the communication between government, parliament, high positioned mediators, and the emperor.