© 2018 – Routledge
362 pages | 14 B/W Illus.
Cultures of Voting in Pre-modern Europe examines the norms and practices of collective decision-making across pre-modern European history, east and west, and their influence in shaping both intra- and inter-communal relationships.
Bringing together the work of twenty specialist contributors, this volume offers a unique range of case studies from Ancient Greece to the eighteenth century, and explores voting in a range of different contexts with analysis that encompasses constitutional and ecclesiastical history, social and cultural history, the history of material culture and of political thought. Together the case-studies illustrate the influence of ancient models and ideas of voting on medieval and early modern collectivities and document the cultural and conceptual exchange between different spheres in which voting took place. Above all, they foreground voting as a crucial element of Europe’s common political heritage and raise questions about the contribution of pre-modern cultures of voting to modern political and institutional developments.
Offering a wide chronological and geographical scope, Cultures of Voting in Pre-modern Europe is aimed at scholars and students of the history of voting and is a fascinating contribution to the key debates that surround voting today.
"By examining the range of cultural contexts in which decision-making took place in every part of Europe, from ancient times to the eighteenth century, this fascinating collection of essays analyzes voting as a kind of ‘total social fact’, broadening our notions of ‘the political’ and offering a new perspective on the history of legitimacy, secrecy, political theology, and a host of other topics."
Matthew Vester, West Virginia Universtity, USA
"This eye-opening volume surveys the many spheres in pre-modern Europe in which decisions were made by forms of voting. With its emphasis on culture – on social meaning – it evokes the complexity and sophistication of the pre-modern political order. In its wake, the common equation of ‘medieval’ with ‘autocratic’ has never looked so wrong."
John Watts, University of Oxford, UK
Serena Ferente, Introduction
PART ONE: Ideas and representations
PART TWO: Practices, institutions, procedures