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Level 7

7AAH3011 Empire, Nation & Modernity in Eastern Europe, 1848-1914

Credit value: 20
Module convenor/tutor 2017/18: Professor Stephen Lovell 
Module convenor/tutor 2018/19: Dr Jim Bjork
Teaching pattern: 10 x 2-hour weekly seminars
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
 1 x 4,000-word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.


The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

The three keywords in the module title together evoke a particular historical conjuncture. We will look at two empires – the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian – as they contended with the rise of national sentiment at a time of rapid social, economic and cultural change (otherwise known as modernity). There will be a strong emphasis on comparative analysis, both as a way of capturing the historical specificity of these empires and as a means of reflecting more broadly on the nature of empire – a normal, not aberrant form of political organization for nineteenth-century Europe – at a historical moment when it was under interrogation as never before.

Provisional Teaching Plan

  1. Introduction: The Russian and Austrian Empires
  2. Rulership and Citizenship
  3. Polish Questions
  4. The Jewish Question
  5. Liberalism and Empire
  6. Russification, Germanization, Magyarization
  7. Colonization
  8. The Imperial Metropolis
  9. Eastern European Intelligentsias
  10. Empire and the Modernization of Governance

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these texts is not mandatory.

Mark Cornwall (ed.), The Last Years of Austria-Hungary: A Multi-National Experiment in Early Twentieth-Century Europe, (revised edition, 2002)

Robert Kann, A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526 - 1918, (1980)

Robin Okey, The Habsburg Monarch, (2002)

Alan Sked, The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, (2001)

David Saunders, Russia in the Age of Reaction and Reform, 1801 - 1881, (1992)

Hans Rogger, Russia in the Age of Modernisation and Revolution, 1881 - 1917, (1983)

Geoffrey Hosking, Russia: People and Empire, 1552 - 1917, (1997)

Andreas Kappeler, The Russian Empire: A Multiethnic History, (2001)

Dominic Lieven, Empire: The Russian Empire and its Rivals, (2002)

Richard Rudolph and David Good (eds.), Nationalism and Empire: The Habsburg Empire and the Soviet Union, (1992)

Pieter Judson, The Habsburg Empire: A New History, (2016)

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