Spoils of War: The Economic Consequences of the Great War in Central Europe

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ERC Starting Grant, €1.49 million

Principal Investigator: Prof. Tamás Vonyó

Period: 2019-2024

Project Description

SpoilsofWar investigates the impact of World War I on regional economic development and industrialization in Central Europe. We can account for the geographical distribution of wartime industrial activity using abundant, yet under-studied, primary data on war contractors. We can detect how sales and employment in the war industries affected the spatial concentration of industry, the economic structure of Habsburg regions, and business networks after World War I. New studies on the largest industrial war contractors will demonstrate the impact of the war economy on the growth of enterprises and the formation of industry clusters and business networks. The project breaks through traditional boundaries between economic and business history and integrates the analytical tools of both disciplines. It aims to shift focus in the economic history of the wars from the Second to the First World War and use state-of-the-art methods in historical economic geography and business history.

The core research team has included three postdoctoral fellows. Stefan Nikolic (since 2019) works on the spatial analysis of economic development in the late Habsburg Empire and the main successor states. Bogdan Popescu (2019-2022) developed a monograph on the political economy of complex border legacies in the southern borderlands of the Empire. Mária Hidvégi (since 2022) will study the development of the largest war contractors of Austria-Hungary in a trans-war and transnational perspective.

This website area is part of a project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
(Grant agreement No. 803644)

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