My article on the representation of Galician Jews on the local, regional and central state level was just published in the latest issue of East Central Europe.
Free download of this article: “The Rise and Limits of Participation. The Political Representation of Galicia’s Urban Jewry from the Josephine Era to the 1914 Electoral Reform,” East Central Europe 42/2-3, 2015, 216-248.
ABSTRACT This article provides an overview of the political representation and integration of Galician Jews on the municipal, provincial, and central state level under Austrian rule. It demonstrates that political representation on the latter two levels started only after the revolution of 1848 and was rather modest considering the numeric and economic weight Jews enjoyed in Galicia. Even though representation in municipal councils started earlier, the position of Jews depended very much on local circumstances. After the turn of the century, the widening of the electorate to the lower classes led to a broader Jewish representation and participation not only in terms of numbers but also within the political spectrum. This is particularly true for the paper’s second part. In this section, the text explores the reform of the electoral system for Galicia’s provincial parliament and the attitude of Jewish politicians towards the compromise eventually found in 1914. The article argues that among Jews the positive or negative assessment of the new voting system depended largely on their position in the larger antagonism between Jewish nationalists and assimilationists. The former complained that the entire reform was on the backs of the Jews ignoring their numeric strength and their national rights. Assimilationists, on the other hand, were satisfied that, against all counterclaims of Zionists and Anti-Semites, the compromise legally established that Jews were Poles.