• Pierre KARILA-COHEN (dir.), Prefects and Governors in Nineteenth-century Europe, Londres, Palgrave MacMillan, 2022

This edited collection presents a pan-European history of intermediary government and administration in nineteenth-century Europe. Taking a closer look at senior government officials who represented the sovereign or state far away from the capital, the book highlights the intermediary nature of their roles, which fell somewhere between the municipality and central bureaucracy. Against the backdrop of revolution and upheaval brought about by the Enlightenment and the First World War, the nineteenth century was a crucial period for reform and political change.Taking a transnational approach, the contributors examine the similarities between the challenges that faced government officials in different European states, focusing on their common role as mediators: firstly, between the ‘centre’ and the ‘peripheries’; and secondly, between the population and hierarchies of power. The status and prerogative of these officials are discussed, providing insights into the lives of French Préfets, Prussian Oberpräsidenten, Austrian Statthalter, Italian Prefetti, dutch Commissarissen des Konings and governors in Russia and Spain. The special case of the United Kingdom, where thre were neither prefects nor governors, serves as a mirror. Dismantling the barriers between different national histories, this book represents a comprehensive and comparative investigation into the roles of nineteenth-century provincial administrators in Europe, an important read for anyone researching European political history or the history of the state.

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