Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Jared Poley

Second Advisor

Greg Moore

Third Advisor

J. T. Way


In 1878, Austria-Hungary crossed the Sava River into what was then the Ottoman Bosnia Vilayet. Its mandate in the Treaty of Berlin was to bring peace and security to the war-weary population. Yet, despite the self-declared noble intentions of the empire, the first four years of the occupation proved to be a struggle. Only after Emperor Franz Joseph appointed a relatively unknown Hungarian bureaucrat as Austria-Hungary’s Joint Finance Minister and administrator of the Bosnian occupation in 1882 did the tide seem to turn. For the next twenty years, Béni Kállay (1839-1903) governed Bosnia with a strong hand and the eye of a master publicist. If the absence of conflict was the only metric of success, then the Kállay era was a triumph. By the end of the nineteenth century, Kállay’s achievements were being recognized by his contemporaries in France, Great Britain, even the United States, as a model of colonialism. Kállay’s colonial governance represents an important moment in the history of European colonialism. I argue that Kállay was a modern innovator of colonial governance. Yet his overall governing ideology, what can be referred to as Kállayism, was not itself innovative. Rather, Kállay’s innovation was his ability to piece together a hodgepodge of different, often contradictory ideas popular among nineteenth-century Central European intellectuals. It was precisely this eclecticism that made Kállayism unique for its time and why, even today, the Kállay era in Bosnia is difficult to categorize. This project explores the intellectual history of Kállayism by mapping the diverse influences on Kállay’s political, philosophical, historical, and economic thought.

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