Mátyás Erdélyi

PhD candidate in Comparative History, Central European University, Budapest

Junior Visiting Fellow
(October 2018 – February 2019)


Experts in the Bureau: Capitalism and Private Clerks in the Late Habsburg Monarchy

Banking, insurance, and transportation became paramount symbols of capitalism and modernity in the late Habsburg Monarchy. In my research, I analyze the bureaucratic practices and knowledge production of private clerks in these incipient sectors of urban capitalism to understand their role in shaping modern society. The intellectual history of private clerks reveals how they negotiated and re-negotiated issues of public interest and defined what qualifies as public good while constantly competing for social and intellectual authority from outsiders and insiders.