Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Osterkamp, Jana

PD Dr. Jana Osterkamp

Principal Investigator


Collegium Carolinum e.V. – Research Institute for the History of the Czech Republic and Slovakia
Hochstraße 8
81669 München

Phone: +49 (0)89 5526 060

Website: Webprofile (Collegium Carolinum)

Main Research Areas

  • Political, social and imperial history of the Habsburg monarchy in the long nineteenth century
  • History of federalism in Eastern and East Central Europe
  • Constitutional, legal and contemporary history of Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic
  • History of religion

Research Projects

Vielfalt ordnen. Föderalismusvorstellungen in der Habsburgermonarchie und ihren Nachfolgestaaten - abgeschlossen 

Ordering Diversity. Conceptions of Federalism in the Habsburg Monarchy and its Successor States - completed

Postdoctoral Project at the Graduate School as Emmy Noether Junior Research Group

The Habsburg monarchy was a laboratory for federal ideas of order in the late 19th century. The habilitation project approaches this phenomenon via four thematic approaches: nation, economy/finance, religion and region. With regard to the heterogeneity of the Habsburg Empire, the central question is: What does federalism mean for social diversity and what meaning does diversity have towards federal ideas of order? Particularly how did the Habsburg Empire's structures emphasize integration and potential for peace? Neither integration or peace are ideas of federalism, seen as exclusively centrifugal-separatist, nor are existing inequalities from the outset interpreted as deficient. In the federal ideas of order during that time, there is a rather surprisingly modern understanding of domination. Citizens' overlapping identities, based on their loyalties and affiliations to the state, was as much a significant topic as were ideas of integration through law and institutions. The planned history of federalism thus also contributes to the larger question raised in recent research, "Why did the Habsburg Empire survive so long?" For the analysis, political and jurisprudential approaches to federalism in supranational orders and conceptual questions about loyalty and modernity are used. It relies on printed documents, archive sources, and Reichsrat, Landtag and administrative records.

A short podcast about the contents of the book, presented by Jana Osterkamp herself

For further information on the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group, please see the description on the website at the Collegium Carolinum.

Der Schreibtisch des Kaisers: Ort der Politik und Entscheidung in der Habsburgermonarchie? Franz Joseph I und dessen Kabinettskanzlei

The Emperor's Desk. A location for political decision-making within the Habsburg Monarchy? Franz Joseph I and his Imperial Cabinet

Research project of the Collegium Carolinum in cooperation with the University of Vienna University of Vienna

Many contemporary images depict Emperor Franz Joseph as a disciplined toiler at his desk. And such images coincide with his own self-description. But he received the support of his cabinet office to help him do his work. The office carefully registered and logged the approximately 250,000 "Vorträge" (i.e. written notes from ministries, state representatives, private citizens, etc.) that the emperor resolved during the course of his reign. This joint German-Austrian project takes full advantage of the careful bureaucratic indexation of the inputs for the emperor’s "Vorträge". We understand the process as a kind of channel through which the entire effort of government in the Habsburg Monarchy is revealed for the first time through statistical analysis of policy. We note the spread of these "Verträge" over various policy areas and track changes within that spread over time. This effort yields us an overview of the reign and governmental work of Emperor Franz Joseph I. In addition to this quantitative approach, we will also carry out qualitative studies on our topic. Two doctoral students will be analysing the infrastructure and technology as well as the symbolic politics of the regime using the examples of railway construction and ennoblement practices. These studies concentrate on issues of the distribution of tangible and intangible resources and on the networks maintained by state and non-state actors as an integrative force for the monarchy. A third dissertation deals with the imperial cabinet office itself as a location for political activity. The office was itself, as initially embodied by its director Adolf Braun, strongly networked into a variety of different aspects of the monarchy and society.

For further information on this project, please see the description on the website at the Collegium Carolinum.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 02/2018, Project Manager (together with Peter Becker) of the D-A-CH Research Group (DFG/FWF Österreichischer Wissenschaftsfonds) „Der Schreibtisch des Kaisers: Ort der Politik und Entscheidung in der Habsburgermonarchie? Franz Joseph I und dessen Kabinettskanzlei“ [The Emperor's Desk. A location for political decision-making within the Habsburg Monarchy? Franz Joseph I and his Imperial Cabinet]. Since 2012 Leader of the Emmy Noether Junior Research Group (DFG) "Vielfalt ordnen. Föderalismusvorstellungen in der Habsburgermonarchie und ihren Nachfolgestaaten" [Ordering Diversity. Concepts of Federalism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and its Successor States] in cooperation with Postdocs from the Graduate School for East and South East European Studies. Since 2007 Research Associate at the Collegium Carolinum. 10/2016 - 09/2017 Acting Chair for East and Southeast European Studies at LMU, Munich. 2014 Feodor-Lynen Scholarship of Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung at the University of Vienna. 2009-2019 Principal Investigator of the International Graduate College "Religiöse Kulturen im Europa des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts", Munich and Prague. 09/2013 - 03/2014 Parental Leave. 2011 Parental Leave. 2010 - 2012 Member of the Research Focus Group "Politische und kulturelle Loyalitäten" at the Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), LMU, Munich. 2004 - 2007 PhD student at Frankfurter Max-Planck-Institut for European Legal History. 1997 - 2003 Studied law with a focus on legal history and legal philosophy in Berlin (HU) and Prague.

Positions, Assignaments and Memberships

  • Co-Chair of the Study "Group Empires"
  • Former Chair of the Study Group / Emmy Noether Junior Research Group "Ordering Diversity"
  • Former Equal Opportunity Officer and Executive Board Member (2012–2014)
  • Member of the Herder Research Council (since 2017)
  • Advisory Board member of the "ADMINISTORY: Journal of Administrative History" (since 2015)
  • Corresponding Member of the Hans Kelsen-Instituts, Vienna (since 2012)
  • Member of the Young Center at the Center for Advanced Studies (CASY), LMU, Munich (since 2012)


List of publications (Collegium Carolinum website)

Lectures (Selected)


"Vielfalt ordnen. Eine Föderalismusgeschichte der Habsburgermonarchie" (Kolloquium Osteuropäische Geschichte, Halle-Wittenberg, Juni 2017).

"(Kein) Ende des alten Europa? Neuordnung in den Jahren 1917-1919" (Deutsch-polnisch-französische Sommerschule, Breslau, Juni 2017).

"Gerecht verteilen. Geschichte und Gegenwart von Finanzföderalismus" (Diskutantin der Podiumsdiskussion und Mitarbeit am Konzept, Kompetenzverbund Historische Wissenschaften, München, Mai 2017).


Zus. mit Luboš Velek: "Das kooperative Imperium. Politische und gesellschaftliche Zusammenarbeit im Herrschaftssystem der Habsburgermonarchie" (Jahrestagung des Collegium Carolinum, Bad Wiessee, November 2016).

"Religiöse Vielfalt ordnen. Zur Föderalismusgeschichte der Habsburgermonarchie" (Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, März 2016).


"Promoting Jews as a Nationality: The Perspective of Viennese Chief Rabbi Chajes" (Wien, Dezember 2015).

"Vielfalt ordnen: Föderalismusgeschichte der Habsburgermonarchie" (Basel, Dezember 2015).

"Historisches Staatsrecht als Argument im 'imperialen Föderalismus' Österreich-Ungarns" (Prag, Oktober 2015).

"Die Länderlobby. Zur 'Verländerung' von staatlichen Aufgaben im Habsburgerreich" (Siegen, Oktober 2015).

"Cooperative Empires" (Tokyo, August 2015).

"Multinational federalism. Eine politikwissenschaftliche Perspektive für die Habsburgermonarchie" (Budapest, März 2015).

"Föderalismus in der Habsburger Monarchie und ihren Nachfolgestaaten" (Regensburg, Februar 2015).

"Diversity and difference in Francis Ferdinand’s plans to reorganise the Habsburg Empire" (Wien, Januar 2015).


"The Bosnian Annexation Crisis of 1908 as a Watershed" (Sarajevo, Juni 2014).

"Vielfalt ordnen. Föderale Ordnungsvorstellungen für Galizien" (Wien, Juni 2014).

"Ein Reich ohne Eigenschaften? Das Erbe föderaler Ideen in den Nachfolgestaaten" (Wien, Mai 2014).

"Zwischen Kooperation und Koordination? Finanzföderalismus in der späten Habsburgermonarchie" (Wien, Mai 2014).

"Wien als Metropole des Habsburgerreiches. Politische Polykratie in der Topographie einer Stadt" (Wien, April 2014).


"Kooperation im Imperium jenseits des Nationalitätenkampfes. Finanzföderalismus im ausgehenden Habsburgerreich" (Leipzig, Mai 2013).

"Vergessenes Erbe? Föderalismuskonzepte und Nationalstaatsideologien in den 'Nachfolgestaaten'" (Wien, Mai 2013).


"Bürokratie als Träger von supranationalen Loyalitäten in der Habsburgermonarchie" (München, November 2012).

"Viele Loyalitäten machen einen Staat? Föderalismusvorstellungen in der Habsburgermonarchie" (49. Deutscher Historikertag, Mainz, September 2012).

"Katolická etika a ekonomické myšlení Albína Bráfa v éře národního vzbuzení" (Prag, September 2012).

Teaching (selected)

SoSe 2017 Recent Research on the History of Eastern Europe, LMU München

SoSe 2017 Recent Research on Federalism Theory and History in Eastern Europe, LMU, Munich

SoSe 2017 The New Order in the Center of Europe, 1917-1919, LMU, Munich

WiSe 2016/17 Introduction of the History of the Habsburg Empire in the "long 19", LMU, Munich

WiSe 2016/17 Newer Empire History and Comparison in East European History, LMU, Munich

WiSe 2016/17 March Revolution of 1848, LMU München

WiSe 2016/17 Seminar of East European History, LMU, Munich

SoSe 2015 International Research Training Group "Religiöse Kulturen im Europa des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts". Forschungskolloquium, LMU, Munich