Political Space in Pre-industrial Europe

Front Cover
Professor Beat Kümin
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Jun 28, 2013 - History - 296 pages

Social and cultural studies are experiencing a 'spatial turn'. Micro-sites, localities, empires as well as virtual or imaginary spaces attract increasing attention. In most of these works, space emerges as a social construct rather than a mere container. This collection examines the potential and limitations of spatial approaches for the political history of pre-industrial Europe. Adopting a broad definition of 'political', the volume concentrates on two key questions: Where did political exchange take place? How did spatial dimensions affect political life in different periods and contexts?

Taken together, the essays demonstrate that pre-modern Europeans made use of a much wider range of political sites than is usually assumed - not just palaces, town halls and courtrooms, but common fields as well as back rooms of provincial inns - and that spatial dimensions provided key variables in political life, both in terms of territorial ambitions and practical governance and in the more abstract forms of patronage networks, representations of power and the emerging public sphere.

As such, this book offers a timely and critical engagement with the 'spatial turn' from a political perspective. Focusing on the distinct constitutional environments of England and the Holy Roman Empire - one associated with early centralization and strong parliamentary powers, the other with political fragmentation and absolutist tendencies - it bridges the common gaps between late medieval and early modern studies and those between historians and scholars from other disciplines. Preface, commentary and a sketch of research perspectives discuss the wider implications of the essays' findings and reflect upon the value of spatial approaches for political history as a whole.

 

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Contents

Political Sites
17
Representing Political Space at a Political Site The Imperial Diets of the Sixteenth Century
19
The Princely Court and Political Space in Early Modern Europe
43
Drinking Houses and the Politics of Surveillance in Preindustrial Southampton
61
Politics Clubs and Social Space in Preindustrial Europe
81
Political Spaces and Parliamentary Enclosure in an Upland Context Cumbria c 17601840
95
Spatial Politics
115
Political and Geographical Space The Geopolitics of Medieval England
117
The Spatial Dynamics of Parish Politics Topographies of Tension in English Communities c 13501640
151
Petitioning Places and the Credibility of Opinion in the Public Sphere in SeventeenthCentury England
175
Which Switzerland? Contrasting Conceptions of the Early Modern Swiss Confederation in European Minds and Maps
197
Outwitting Power Bogus Kings and Officials in Early Modern England
215
Outlook
231
Comment from a Historical Perspective
233
Spaces in Theory Spaces in History and Spatial Historiographies
249
Copyright

Social Space and Urban Conflict Unrest in the German Imperial City of Esslingen am Neckar
135

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About the author (2013)

Professor Beat Kümin is Director of Research, Department of History, University of Warwick, UK.

James C. Scott, Beat Kümin, Henry J. Cohn, Ronald G. Asch, James R. Brown, Peter Clark, Ian D. Whyte, Christine Carpenter, Alexander Schlaak, Steve Hindle, David Zaret, Andreas Würgler, Tobias B. Hug, Bernard Capp, Mike Crang.

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