Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Advantage through „rational“ management – The appropriation of „change“ (Veränderung) in the Prussian administration discourse and the beginning of bureaucratic school administration (1808-1848)
Daniel Töpper

Última modificación: 2017-07-16


My contribution will analyze the legitimation of the growth of the state and city administrations in Prussia between 1808 and 1848. I will focus on the discussions surrounding the invention and expansion of the school administration system using mostly official state papers. Hence, I will describe specific terms related to ‘change’ and its implicit promises of rationalization. The era of Prussian Reforms paved the way for Prussia’s leading role as innovator in the sphere of school politics in the 19th century, strongly based on the workings of state and local administrations (see Jeismann 1987; Kloosterhuis & Neitzel 2009; Kloosterhuis & Neugebauer 2008; Koselleck 1989). I want to argue that the process of expanding the state bureaucracy went hand in hand with a re-coining and appropriation of the term “change”, which rested upon promises about security and equality (for the safety aspect of bureaucratic structures see Graber, 2015, for the related and associated processes of the re-coining of the term “innovation” see Godin 2008). Before, terms like “change” were negatively connoted and hindered in the political sphere (for the English discourse see Godin 2011), but when the Prussian state was under threat things changed (Holtz 2010). I will analyze how the administration discourse surrounding the bureaucratization of school administration assimilated and revalued certain contextual ideas (e.g. “equality”) as well as tried to blur the inscribed interests (by framing it as neutral “rationalization”). Equality translated into universal submission of all citizens under law and state institutions (administration, court, school). Rationalization had to “emancipate” them from “premodern” inequalities created by delegitimized organizations and practices (church administration, aristocracy, voluntary schooling). Drawing on official and scholarly sources, I will show how this shift established an epistemic and regulatory field, in which the bureaucratic formation of school classes in general and age-grading in particular became unavoidable.