Political Community in Historical Perspectives - Medieval and Early Modern

27 May, 9:00-18:00
Sir Duncan Rice Library


Speakers: Speakers include Professor Crawford Gribbon, Dr Ian Campbell (both Queen's University Belfast), Dr Clare Hawes (St Andrews) and Dr Christian Liddy (Durham)

An all-day workshop highlighting the historical developments and implications of political community.

This event is co-hosted by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL) in cooperation with the Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS) by CISRUL Faculty member, Chair of Early Modern History, and Co-director of CEMS Karin Friedrich and CISRUL PhD candidate Alexander Crawford. This s one-day workshop will debate political community with medieval and early modern historians.  Our guest speakers will highlight key theories for discussion. 

The discussion will start with a focus on the volume entitled Political Community: The Idea of the Self-Governing People, prepared by member of CISRUL. Previous workshops on the topic and the volume have had a contemporary focus, but CISRUL would now like, in partnership with the Centre for Early Modern Studies (CEMS), to include medieval and early modern historians in the debate. Not only will this broaden the empirical scope of the debates, but it will enrich the theoretical approach, since historians have arguably given more thought to political community than other disciplines. Meanwhile, we expect that historians will find it valuable to debate and reflect on other approaches to the topic.





History of CISRUL

Founded in 2009, CISRUL aims to produce conversation across the social sciences and humanities on key concepts of the modern polity. Citizenship, civil society and rule of law are three such key concepts, all three of some pedigree but enjoying a new lease of life, prescribed by bodies such as IMF and United Nations, championed by social movements, and debated in the media and in academic research, although we are also interested in related notions such as democracy, human rights, multiculturalism and pluralism. CISRUL is distinguished by:

  • our conceptual approach - we ask searching questions about the concepts, whether to define them clearly or to consider how they get deployed in practice.
  • our serious inter-disciplinary commitment, which goes beyond occasional encounters to aim at full engagement between a large number of disciplines, in which we take time to learn the premises of each other's disciplines in order to understand each other.
  • our global and historical reach that includes but goes beyond the usual focus on contemporary Europe and North America, looking at medieval and early modern Europe but also a range of contexts across Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • our concern with public engagement, especially with regard to citizenship education as well as to stimulating public debate on hot topics such as energy politics.

For further information, please visit our main website.