All posts by boerries

Recently published book: Accomodating National Diversity. A History of Non-Territorial Autonomy

This book explores the practice of non-territorial autonomy, a concept based on collective rights and used to address national diversity within a single state. It examines its strands of development and the processes of transfer in the Habsburg monarchy and Russia, connecting them to processes in the interwar period. The flexible instrument was able to adapt to different political and ideological frameworks.

Link to: Börries Kuzmany, Vom Umgang mit nationaler Vielfalt. Eine Geschichte der nicht-territorialen Autonomie in Europa. Berlin, De Gruyter 2024 (open access)

Link to the invitation to the book launch taking place on 26 April 2024

Habilitation for Modern and East European History

Börries Kuzmany has successfully defended his habilitation thesis entitled “Vom Umgang mit nationaler Vielfalt. Ein Geschichte der nicht-territorialen Autonomie in Europa” (in English: Accomodating National Diversity. A History of Non-Territorial Auotnomy in Europe).

Recently published: An entangled history of a migration scandal in the late Habsburg Empire

Migrants have become a focus for research, while the people who enabled their movement have received not the same attention. By analysing a family network of migration agents spread-out in various parts of the Habsburg Empire, this paper brings together the micro and macro perspectives of overseas migration from and via Central Europe. The paper investigates the years preceding the First World War when emigration from Austria-Hungary and those involved became the object of scandal. The imperial War Ministry and several newspapers attacked a newcomer to the transatlantic migration business, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and several hundred migration agents for illegally enhancing the emigration of Austro-Hungarian men who had not yet fulfilled their military service. This paper sketches out the different layers of an entangled history. These entanglements included divergent interests and corruption among ministries in Austria-Hungary, political animosities in the Habsburg province of Galicia, competing international steamship trusts, settlement policies for Canada’s sparsely populated territories, and diplomatic and public resentment in the British Empire over the alleged unfair treatment of a Canadian company abroad.

Die Auswanderungsaffäre von 1913/14, oder: Kapeller im Kriminal. In: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 71/1 (2023), 83–111. [The Emigration Affair of 1913/14, or: Kapeller Behind Bars]

Published in a special issue in honour of Andreas Kappeler’s 80th birthday: Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 71/1 (2023).

Recently published: Article on the integration of the Russian minority in the Ukrainian Peoples’ Republic

This paper discusses the circumstances surrounding the creation of a ministry for the Russian minority in revolutionary Ukraine, as well as the legislative process governing the protection of minorities in general.

Open access: “Vom Staatsvolk zur nationalen Minderheit. Das Ministerium für Großrussische Angelegenheiten in der Ukraine, 1917–1918,“ Nordost-Archiv 31, 2022, 28–42. = Revised German version of my article in Ukraïna Moderna 29, 2020.


This article is devoted to the Ministry of Great Russian Affairs, which existed under various names in revolutionary Ukraine from the fall of 1917 to the summer of 1918. To this day, scholars have paid little attention to this institution, deeming it unproductive and hence on the margins of the Ukrainian Revolution. The Jewish and Polish ministries, which represented the two other large non-Ukrainian populations, were significantly more active. However, documents held in the Central State Historical Archive in Kyiv reveal that the activity of the Ministry of Great Russian Affairs was not all insignificant.