Call for Papers

                          EXTENDED DEADLINE – July, 1st        

                                    CALL FOR PAPERS


  Is there a space in cities for state building?

              Early modern political processes in an urban global

                         scope: agents, practices and discourses

                                   8-9 February 2018 – European University Institute, Florence, Italy

E-Mail: [email protected]


Historiographical approaches to political organisation in early modern societies have become much more diverse in the last few decades. State-building as a top down process has been counterbalanced by perspectives from below. Agents, institutions and spaces have gained momentum as shaping elements of historical processes. Economic and institutional historians have explained European realities trough concepts such as polycentrism for the Iberian Empires; social networks of governance for the French Monarchy; or fiscal-military states and contractor states for the British and Northern cases respectively. In the cases of Africa and Asia, it is still necessary to rethink and conceptualize their political processes of territorial integration and governance. The Eurocentric model has been left aside as the only applicable one.

These historiographical models usually appear as isolated issues. This workshop will consider the co-evolution of cities and polities by using urban history as a lens. Empirical case studies will provide the basis for in-depth discussion to rethink of categories that historians use to conceptualise political dynamics.

The Workshop Is There Space in Cities for State Building? Early Modern Processes in an Urban and Global Scope: Agents, Practices, and Discourses, will confront different approaches based on cases about how early modern polities were defined in urban contexts in a global and comparative scope. Contributions should analyse how spatial transformations affected cities and polities as well as their reciprocal relationships. The main questions to address are: How did agents shape the political organisation of communities and territories trough processes of spatial transformation? Which practices did intermediate these agential interactions? How did discourses establish the cultural frameworks of these processes? How can historians conceptualise these processes beyond the teleological paradigm of localism to globalism?

Participants are asked to submit working papers of 5000 words maximum, including footnotes, to be pre-circulated among the rest of speakers. These papers must be founded in empirical work and will be introduced in presentations of 10 minutes to serve as framework of the later general discussion. Proposals for the papers and 10 minutes presentations with a short CV should be emailed before July, 1st, to [email protected]

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