The politics of space : symbols of hegemonic and non-dominant ethnic groups in the urban landscape of Prussia and Austria-Hungary (1867-1914)
Title: The politics of space : symbols of hegemonic and non-dominant ethnic groups in the urban landscape of Prussia and Austria-Hungary (1867-1914)
Author: KISIEL, Piotr
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This dissertation examines the symbolic urban landscape in the four cities of Prussia and Austria-Hungary in the period 1867-1914. Following a theoretical discussion of the symbolic politics and construction of collective memories three chapters deal with the key elements of city-text: street names, monuments and architecture of public buildings. The following chapter focuses on public responses to reshaping of the four cities in that period. Finally, in the conclusions all the different threads are pulled together and further lines of enquiry are presented. Using a variety of primary sources (administrative files, newspapers, address books, maps, iconography) street names, monuments and architecture of public buildings are examined in terms of who was involved in creating these symbolic items, where in the given city space they were located and what symbolic messages they conveyed. The examination of the processes which resulted in erecting of symbolic markers in the four cities allow us not only to better understand how definitions of German and Polish national communities changed in the second half of the long nineteenth century, but also how different social, economical and political circumstances influenced the understanding of each national category. Furthermore, the examination of the symbolic sphere gives an insight into power relations on municipal as well as state level. As this dissertation shows, the symbolic urban landscape was an important arena on which emerging power of the cities confronted the existing power structures of the state and the army. Moreover, powerful individuals used the symbolic resources to strengthen their position within the given community, but also to legitimise their social class. For this reason this dissertation not only contributes to the field of nationalism, memory studies and symbolic politics, but also to the political history of Prussia and Austria-Hungary.
Defence date: 15 January 2016; Examining Board: Prof. Pavel Kolár, European University Institute; Prof. Pieter Judson, European University Insitute; Prof. Dr. Claudia Kraft, Universität Sigen; Dr. Jim Bjork, King’s College London
Type of Access: embargoedAccess