Colloque - Ideologies of Representation in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Louvain)

Ideologies of Representation in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

La KULeuven accueillera la troisième workshop du projet "Political represenattion : communities, ideas and institutions in Europe (c. 1200 - c. 1650)" financée par le FWO. La thématique de cette journée sera centrée sur les idées et les langage de la représentation. Deux membres du CRHiDI prendront part à ce colloque : Marie Van Eeckenrode (UCL/Archives de l'État Louvain-la-Neuve) et Éric Bousmar (U. Saint-Louis). Marie Van Eeckenrode présentera une communication intitulée : "Idées et représentation politique en Hainaut au bas Moyen Âge".


Argumentaire du colloque (en anglais):


The third workshop of the international project "Political representation: communities, ideas and institutions in Europe (c. 1200 - c. 1650)" will be convened on 18 and 19 September 2014 in Leuven, Belgium. This time the theme we shall address is Ideas and Languages of Representation. This series of worshops seeks to establish the social and ideological context of representative institutions in order to clarify why and how they functioned as an essential platform for political dialogue. Who exactly took part in this negotiation process, whose interests were at stake and what political ideas motivated the representatives when bargaining with the delegates of the prince? While the first and second workshop (The Hague, 2012; Stirling, 2013) focused on the way representative institutions functioned and the social and political circles from which the representatives were drawn, the final session will concentrate on their ideological and discursive environment.


International research has emphasized that both rulers and delegates of the Estates were favourably disposed towards the existence of such representative institutions. On that platform the parties involved could respectively claim taxes and privileges. However, mostly the outcome of the negotiations was a compromise. The claims of the constituents were tempered by their representatives, as they gathered far away from their home towns, political opinions amongst them diverged and they often received favours from the prince. Although this may be valuable arguments to explain the outcome of specific meetings of the Estates, they fail to take into account why delegates decided to bargain.


Using the sociological framework of Pierre Bourdieu, one could therefore argue that neither the application of ‘social capital’, nor the desire for ‘economic capital’ sufficiently explain the political motives behind the representatives’ choice for negotiations. Therefore ‘symbolical power’ should also be taken into account. Moreover opinions on specific policy matters may have determined the outcome of negotiations, while discursive strategies were an essential tool for deputies to rationalize the decisions they took.


However, we know little on such ideas and discursive strategies of representatives of the Estates, since most scholars in the field have concentrated on the political thought of rulers and speeches they delivered at meetings of the Estates. Therefore, research into the ideological and discursive environment of deputies of the Three Estates is needed in order to more fully understand how representative institutions functioned. In short, by analysing the agency of deputies and their ideas, we hope to overcome the limitations of the existing historical studies on political representation.


jeudi 18 septembre


Jelle Haemers, University of Leuven: Introduction: The ideology of representation


Session I: City, Estates and Ideology



K e y n o t e:

Jan Dumolyn, Ghent University & Graeme Small, University of Durham: Political representation and political communication in the Burgundian state

Referent: FrederikBuylaert, Free University of Brussels


Valerie Vrancken, University of Leuven: 'With the consent of the Estates…’ The political rights of the Estates of Brabant in the Inauguration Charters of the Brabantine dukes (1356-1477)

Referent: Eric Bousmar, Université Saint-Louis, Brussels


Marie Van Eeckenrode, Université de Louvain-la-Neuve: Idées et représentation politique en Hainaut au bas Moyen Age

Referent: Jelle Haemers, University of Leuven


13h-14h: Lunch

Naamsestraat 69 - Hogenheuvelcollege, room 00.50



Robert Stein, University of Leiden: The Antwerp clerk Jan van Boendale and the ideology of the Estates of Brabant

Referent: Tim Soens, University of Antwerp


Carlo Taviani, Italienish-Deutsches Historisches Institut, Trento: Duo sunt in ea regna. Representing the Commune and the bank of San Giorgio in renaissance Genoa

Referent: Erik Aerts, University of Leuven


16h-18h: guided tour through Leuven


19h: dinner


vendredi 19 septembre

Session II: spreading ideas on representation


9h30 – 12h30

K e y n o t e:

Philip Withington, University of Sheffield: Urban citizenship and early modern democracy

Referent: Jan Dumolyn, Ghent University


Pierre Kapitaniak, Université Paris 8, Vincennes-Saint-Denis: Democracy and demonology in sixteenth-century France

Referent: Mario Damen, University of Amsterdam


Ida Nijenhuis, University of Nijmegen: Arguments for Empire: Willem Usselincx versus the States-General

Referent: Robert Stein, University of Leiden


Alastair Mann, University of Stirling: Parliamentary sovereignty and representation through the lens of George Buchanan and his opponents

Referent: Hans Cools, University of Leuven



(orateur à confirmer)

Conclusion: Ideology or ideologies of representation?


13h-14h: Lunch


Informations pratiques

Comité organisateur : Jelle Haemers (KULeuven), Hans Cools (KULeuven), Mario Damen (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Tim Soens (U Antwerpen) en Valerie Vrancken (KULeuven).


Lieu : Naamsestraat 69 - Huis Van TSestich, Louvain (Belgique)

Dates : 18 et 19 septembre 2014


Site internet du colloque : cliquez ici.

Écrire commentaire

Commentaires: 0

Centre de recherches en histoire du droit, des institutions et de la société