Session 18: Beyond the State. Insurance in Habsburg Central Europe from a Global Perspective

Friday, July 22th 2022, 09:00–11:00 (CEST), Room U1, 191

Zoom-Link: | Meeting ID: 664 0185 7881

Session Chair: Vojtěch Pojar (Central European University), Matyas Erdelyi (CEFRES), Thomas Rohringer (LMU Munich),


The history of insurance in Austria-Hungary has been mostly written as a history of the welfare state. This is reflected in what has been studied, namely public insurance, who were investigated as the main actors, that is legislators and officials, and in the fact that the successor states of the Habsburg Empire served as the main scale of research, while the relation to other contemporaneous insurance projects is mostly framed in terms of being pioneer or laggard.

This session decenters the role of the state in the history of insurance in Austria-Hungary by contextualizing it from a global and transnational perspective. The session investigates the role private insurance enterprises played as a model and knowledge provider for public insurance, it analyzes how transnational knowledge transfer shaped insurance legislation, and it highlights the role of private actors in the spread of certain insurance models.

1. Old-age Pension Insurance in the Habsburg Monarchy (1890-1918): Global and Local Perspectives

  • Matyas Erdelyi, Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences – Prague (online)

2. Fire Insurance and Nationalism in the Late Habsburg Empire, 1868-1914

  • Vojtěch Pojar, Department of History, Central European History

3. Making Accident Insurance Work. Transnational and Business-State Knowledge Transfers in the Making of the Public Accident Insurance in Imperial Austria 1880-1914

  • Thomas Süsler-Rohringer, European History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (online)

4. History of the Czech Insurance Market in the Middle-European Perspective

  • Eva Vávrová, Department of Finance, Masaryk University
  • Svatopluk Nečas, Department of Finance, Masaryk University