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The project “Public Health in Transition” investigates the transition of the public health system of the multinational Habsburg Empire in successor national states during and after the Empire’s collapse at the end of WWI. The project’s aim is to analyse how health institutions dealt with epidemic diseases and mental illnesses resulting from the war and geopolitical upheavals, which reshaped the sense of self and created identity disorientation. As a case study, it focuses on the macro-area between the former imperial capital city Vienna, the main Slovenian urban centre Ljubljana, and the principal Habsburg port-city Trieste/Trst. The fragmentation of this common space is observed by comparing three models of transition of the common Habsburg public healthcare system in the three corresponding successor national states: the Austrian Republic, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SHS-Kingdom), and the Italian Kingdom. Three models of adapting strategies are examined simultaneously from a regional, a national and an international perspective. The research spans from the summer of 1918 until the middle of 1924 – that is, from the establishment of national councils in the different regions of the collapsing Monarchy until the final diplomatic adjustments between Italy and the SHS-Kingdom with the Treaty of Rome, which brought an end to the international crisis concerning the free city of Fiume/Rijeka and established the geopolitical shape of the whole North-Eastern Adriatic area.
The project is developed with the prof. Marta Verginella and hosted by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana.