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Original scientific paper

Lessons in “Good Policy” for the King’s Servants: Political and Cameral Studies in Croatia (1769-1776)

Ivana Horbec orcid id

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page 239-256

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Professional education of civil servants was one of the major goals of 18th-century educational reforms in the Habsburg Monarchy. During the reign of Maria Theresa, a range of state-controlled academies and university programmes were established in order to teach the prospective civil servants the art of “good policy” (gute Polizei, or wise governance), which comprised a theoretical knowledge of public administration, education, health, economy, and security as the main postulates for incorporating the principles of common good and prosperity in public governance. One of such programmes, namely Political and Cameral Studies (Studium politico-camerale), was founded in 1769 in the Croatian city of Varaždin. Focusing on that programme, this paper aims at analysing the educational policy of Maria Theresa in regard to her civil servants and at estimating the knowledge required for public service during the period of enlightened absolutism. The Varaždin programme will be compared with similar institutes in Austria and Hungary. Also, its success in Croatia, where it was supposed to function as the key institution for the educational strategies of local noblemen, will be critically assessed.


Habsburg Monarchy; 18th century; history of higher education; history of public service; Enlightenment; Cameralism

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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