Trotsky or Wallerstein?

Approaching the Habsburg Monarchy in the Nineteenth Century

In: East Central Europe
Mladen Medved Central European University,

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This article examines the potentials of world-systems analysis (WSA) and uneven and combined development (UCD) for the history of nineteenth-century Habsburg Monarchy by critically engaging with Andrea Komlosy’s account of the Monarchy, written from the perspective of WSA. It argues that Komlosy does not provide a consistent WSA interpretation of the Monarchy’s history by trying to analyze the Monarchy as a world-economy in its own right, thus excluding geopolitical dynamics and the world-economy. Furthermore, core-periphery relations within the Monarchy are dealt with in a contradictory fashion. Crucially, the quite anomalous state formation is not accounted for. The problematic account of state formation, it is argued, is due to the limitations of WSA. By taking a closer look at the genesis of the Austro–Hungarian Compromise, the article claims that UCD is better suited for explaining state formation in the Monarchy.

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