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The Practical Imagination

The German Sciences of State in the Nineteenth Century

Drawing on the work of Foucault and Bourdieu, David Lindenfeld illuminates the practical imagination as it was exhibited in the transformation of the political and social sciences during the changing conditions of nineteenth-century Germany. Using a wealth of information from state and university archives, private correspondence, and a survey of lecture offerings in German universities, Lindenfeld examines the original group of learned disciplines which originated in eighteenth-century Germany as a curriculum to train state officials in the administration and reform of society and which included economics, statistics, politics, public administration, finance, and state law, as well as agriculture, forestry, and mining. He explores the ways in which some systems of knowledge became extinct, and how new ones came into existence, while other migrated to different subject areas.

Lindenfeld argues that these sciences of state developed a technique of deliberation on practical issues such as tax policy and welfare, that serves as a model for contemporary administrations.

392 pages | 15 line drawings, 15 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1997

History: European History

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Introduction: A Theoretical Framework
1: The Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Background: Classification
2: The French Revolution and Napoleonic Era, 1789-1815: Assimilation
3: The Sciences of State at Their Height, 1815-1840: Deliberation
4: A Period of Transition, 1840-1866: Variation
5: A Truncated Revival, 1866-1890: Organized Research and Charisma
6: The Wilhelminian Era, 1890-1914: Specialization and Clarification
Appendix: The Data from University Catalogues

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