Konrad Petrovszky
ifk Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2016 bis 31. January 2017

Law, Administration, and Corruption on the Threshold to the Modern Age: Dalmatia and Wallachia, 1770-1840


Southeastern Europe has a special place on the medially transmitted global corruption map of the present. But the historical background of the idea of corruption—from the associated practices right down to the suitability of the descriptive category itself—is everything but well understood. This research project begins at this very point of questioning. It is concerned with the formative phase of the modern semantics of corruption and takes two regions on the border of central and eastern Europe as its examples. The internal relations of Dalmatia and Wallachia at the turn of the nineteenth century were characterized by a particularly rapid series of military occupation regimes, an increasing crisis of valid governing relations, and by multiple attempts to restructure administration and legal systems. In the context of a pan-European debate about “good governance,” people became increasingly sensitive to “corrupt” practices, which were undergoing a revaluation. This process can be charted by attention to administrative correspondence, legal literature, and to the rich range of political, economic, and geographic texts that emerged for the first time from that very age.


Konrad Petrovszky studied history, philosophy, Slavic studies, and political science at the LMU Munich and the Free University Berlin. He has worked as a freelance editor and translator and completed his doctorate at the Humboldt University in Berlin with a dissertation on early-modern historiography in southeastern Europe. Since 2013 he has been a postdoctoral affiliate in the Department of East European History at the University of Vienna.


Geschichte schreiben im osmanischen Südosteuropa. Eine Kulturgeschichte orthodoxer Historiographie des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts, Wiesbaden 2014; gem. mit Andreas Helmedach, Markus Koller, Stefan Rohdewald (Hg.), Das osmanische Europa. Methoden und Perspektiven der Frühneuzeitforschung zu Südosteuropa, Leipzig 2013; gem. mit Ovidiu Tichindeleanu (Hg.), Romanian Revolution Televised. Contributions to The Cultural History of Media, Cluj-Napoca 2011.

19 December 2016
  • Lecture
Konrad Petrovszky


„Doch wehe demjenigen Richter, der die Beschlüsse durch Begünstigung erwirkt oder das Recht durch die Entgegennahme von Bestechungsgeld beugt,“ so heißt es drohend in der Präambel des ersten walachischen Gesetzeskodex von 1780. Doch was bedeutet diese Einschärfungsformel, wenn auf dem Titelblatt desselben Buchs Justitia ohne Augenbinde dargestellt wird?