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.
Serena Ferente, Introduction
PART ONE: Ideas and representations
- Paul Cartledge, Not just voting but being counted: the cases of Ancient Greece
- Valentina Arena, Roman reflections on voting practices: also a Pythagorean affair
- Cristina La Rocca and Francesco Veronese, Cultures of unanimity in Carolingian councils
- Vesselina Vachkova, A vote for the new world order: the Dardanelles meeting in 1235 (the Council at Lampsacus-Gallipoli)
- Alexander Russell, Voting at the Council of Constance (1414–18)
- Miles Pattenden, Cultures of secrecy in pre-modern papal elections
- Andrea Guidi, ‘Conforme al vivere civile et politico’: Machiavelli's newly discovered proposal for electoral reform in 1512
- Derek Hirst, A culture of voting in seventeenth-century England
- Wyger Velema, Dead and buried after the elections? Voting and citizenship in the Batavian Revolution
- Nella Lonza, The culture of voting in medieval Split: appearance and reality
- Lorenzo Tanzini, From discussion to vote: practices of political deliberation and written records in communal Italy
- Serena Ferente, Parties, quotas and elections in late medieval Genoa
- Letizia Arcangeli, The election of the abbess: political reasons of monastic discipline in Renaissance Parma
- Lovro Kunčević, Political decision-making in the Republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik) in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
- Claire Judde de Larivière, ‘Il fait bon voir de tout leur sénat ballotter’: the ubiquity of voting in late medieval and Renaissance Venice
- Pierluigi Terenzi, The citizens and the king: voting and electoral procedures in southern Italian towns under the Aragonese
- Vicent Baydal Sala, Voting in the parliaments of the Crown of Aragon, c.1300–1716
- Zrinka Pešorda Vardić, Voting and elections in the elite Ragusan confraternities of St. Anthony and St. Lazarus
- Alexander Osipian, Voting at home and on the move: elections of caravanbashi by Armenian merchants in Poland and the Ottoman Empire, 1500–1700
- Brian Sandberg, Municipal elections and contested religious space: electoral practices and confessional politics in Mediterranean France during the French Wars of Religion
PART TWO: Practices, institutions, procedures
"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