Zeremonien und Verfahren : zur politischen Kultur im frühneuzeitlichen Europa

Die Beschäftigung mit politischen Zeremonien und Verfahren im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit lässt auch Rückschlüsse zur Erklärung der Gegenwart zu, so Stefan Brakensiek in seinem Beitrag.

The article deals with political culture in early modern Europe. It investigates how princely or monarchical governments addressed themselves to their subjects, to what extent authorities used forms of cooperation, and how individuals or different societal groups were regularly integrated into domainal communication. It reveals that subjects in subordinate positions participated in the political process either through conflict with their lordships or in the form of consensual proceedings. Dominion rested on some kind of selective cooperation between government and individuals or certain cohorts of subjects, and always on regular cooperation with the various unpaid chairmen of the communities. These relationships permitted considerable chances for participation, but even those subjects who were involved in permanent exchanges of communication or cooperation could scarcely claim to hold fixed and documented rights to participate: they had to rely on pragmatic habits of participation, which were a by-product of the everyday business of the practice of dominion. The growing significance of written norms and the documentation of procedures in writing, and the emergence of competing authorities created an institutional framework that enhanced empowering interactions. On the one hand the proceedings of the authorities provided channels of communication that widened the scope of action for subjects, and, to some extent, opened the gates for their participation. On the other hand these empowering interactions contributed to the intensification of dominion, mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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