Mátyás Erdélyi: Research & CV

Insurance, Banking, and Capitalist Modernity in the Late Habsburg Monarchy

Research Area 1: Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies 

Mátyás Erdélyi explores the social and intellectual history of private clerks in the late Habsburg Monarchy, their battle for social legitimation, intellectual authority, and a middle-class identity between the 1860s and the onset of the First World War. He studies bureaucratic practices and knowledge production in banking and insurance in Budapest, Prague, and Vienna. Research questions include, how agents in the early capitalist urban environment negotiated and re-negotiated issues of public interest and defined what qualified as public good, why and who assigned meaning to hitherto non-existent social problems, and how agents in the private economy tried to assure and monopolize social authority against competition from outsiders and insiders. The rationale of this research is to provide an alternative narrative to the process of modernization and enrich our understanding of capitalist modernity through the history of a marginalized social group.



2019: PhD in Comparative History at Central European University, Budapest
2012: MA in Comparative History at Central European University, Budapest
2010: MA in Sociology at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

  • “Quantifying Mortality in Hungary: Actuaries and Statisticians (1860s-1910s)” Histoire et Mesure XXXIII, no. 2 (2018): 115–138.
  • “Társadalmi mobilitás és iskoláztatás a századelő Magyarországán: Sátoraljaújhely iskolai piaca (1898–1915)” [Social mobility and Education in Fin-de-siècle Hungary: The Market of Elementary and Secondary Schooling in Sátoraljaújhely (1898-1915)]. In Iskola, művelődés, társadalom [Schooling, culture, society], Csaba Sasfi and János Ugrai, eds, 232–49. Budapest: Hajnalkör, 2017.
  • “Crucial and local events in the long-term evolution of secondary schooling in Hungary (1867–1938),” InterDisciplines 7, no. 2, (2016): 95–124.
  • “Name Magyarization and Hungarianness: The Reception of Magyarized Names in the Dualist Period (1867-1919).” In Shifting Discourses on Central European Histories, Otčenášová Slávka and Csaba Zahorán, eds, 68–76. Budapest: Terra Recognita Foundation, 2015.
  • “A szabadság fogalma Sartre A lét és a semmi című munkájában”[The Concept of Liberty in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness], ELPIS 10. (2012): 72–99.