Let us assume you are governing an early modern ’country’: how should you provide order? How do you keep its inhabitants safe? And how might you organise governance and policy-making? Most researchers who deal with these questions tend to focus on principalities or kingdoms. With this blog post I would like to point out the importance of precision when we talk about power, by addressing two basic concepts that are often misused in research on early modern governance and political-institutional research: ‘absolutism’ and ‘the state’. Finally, I want to focus on precisely how governance on the European mainland was organised (approx. the 16th to 18th century) through ordinances in both principalities and (federation-) republics, to demonstrate the imbalance in historical knowledge resulting from this conceptual misuse.
|Publication status||Published - 08 May 2020|