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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group on History and Theory of International Relations Research themes

The Legal Ordering of the Medieval International

Modes of Reasoning | Historical Epistemology

Although International Relations scholars make frequent reference to the Middle Ages, most of our ideas about the period are not based on extensive empirical studies. Instead, they rely on a common imaginary of Medieval Europe as an unspecified and idealised system of overlapping authority and multiple loyalties.

This project seeks to recover a historical understanding of the late-medieval international order by focusing on the fundamental conceptions of the organization of the social held by medieval international practitioners. In particular, it examines a specific community of practice: lawyers of the ius commune from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries.

From a theoretical point of view, the project focuses on the process of differentiation through representation, as well as on contestation within it. In doing so, it argues for a move from a static understanding of order to the more dynamic notion of ordering. Empirically, this project demonstrates the analytical leverage gained from this theoretical move by providing a detailed account of the legal international order from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries, focusing not only on stability, but also on the contentious process of ordering. As a result, it provides a new understanding of late-medieval notions of political authority, community, polity, and identity, while simultaneously highlighting the politics of representation behind them.

RUG investigator involved: Dr. Julia Costa Lopez

Research themes: Modes of Reasoning | Historical Epistemology

Last modified:22 February 2017 3.25 p.m.