Rethinking Vienna 1900

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Rethinking Vienna 1900

Rethinking Vienna 1900


Disorder and instability are matters of continuing public concern. Terrorism, as a threat to global order, has been added to preoccupations with political unrest, deviance and crime. Such considerations have prompted the return to the classic anthropological issues of order and disorder. Examining order within the political and legal spheres and in contrasting local settings, the papers in this volume highlight its complex and contested nature. Elaborate displays of order seem necessary to legitimate the institutionalization of violence by military and legal establishments, yet violent behaviour can be incorporated into the social order by the development of boundaries, rituals and established processes of conflict resolution. Order is said to depend upon justice, yet injustice legitimates disruptive protest. Case studies from Siberia, India, Indonesia, Tibet, West Africa, Morocco and the Ottoman Empire show that local responses are often inconsistent in their valorization, acceptance and condemnation of disorder.

Keebet von Benda-Beckmann is head of the project group 'Legal Pluralism' at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology at Halle, Germany. She is Professor of Anthropology of Law at Erasmus University Rotterdam and Honorary Professor at the universities of Leipzig and Halle. Her research focuses on legal pluralism, disputing, decentralization, social security and natural resources in Indonesia and the Netherlands. Publications include Changing Properties of Property, co-edited with Franz von Benda-Beckmann and Melanie Wiber (Berghahn 2006).

Fernanda Pirie is Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. She has carried out research into conflict and its resolution in both Ladakh and among the nomads of Amdo in eastern Tibet. Her writings focus on order and disorder and the relations between law and religion. She is the author of the forthcoming Peace and conflict in Ladakh: the construction of a fragile web of order (Brill 2006).


This volume has its origins in the conference "Beyond Vienna 1900: Rethinking Culture in Central Europe, 1867–1939" held under the auspices of the Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and organized by myself and David Good. The conference took place in the belief that "Vienna 1900" is a field that remains of central interest to Austrian Studies, and continues to be the subject of the sort of scholarly controversies on which academic life thrives. This volume reflects those controversies and confirms "Vienna 1900" as a topic of lively historiographical debate. It aims to provide scholars, teachers, and their students with a selection of the most recent critical discussions of various aspects of the subject, with the thesis of Carl E. Schorske's Fin-de-Siècle Vienna at the center, and should be of great help in aiding discussion, both in and out of the classroom, about "what happened in Vienna 1900." If the book opens to readers new aspects of the intricate developments that made "Vienna 1900" such a significant cultural and intellectual center, and generally enables them to think about the subject in new and fruitful ways, it will have served its purpose.

Not only did David Good initiate and organize the conference, but he has also been of immeasurable help in bringing this book to publication. I would like to thank all those who helped and advised us in planning the conference, especially William M. Johnston. The participants at the original conference are to be thanked for providing the enthusiasm which made that meeting a success; those conferees whose papers are not included here may rest assured that their efforts and insights have greatly helped shape the resulting volume. The contributors are to be praised for their patience and their tolerance during the editorial process. Gerhard Weiss and the staff of the Center for Austrian Studies are to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.