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Current Debates in Medieval and Early Modern European History II


Admission requirements



In this course we will be examining current debates in the history of medieval and early modern Europe. Students studies two debates, over a total period of six weeks.

Semester II, weeks -1-3

Email: Dr. R. Stein

Political participation
For two decades, Charles Tilly’s Coercion capital and the European states has dominated the discussion about state formation, (1992). In this epoch-making work, Tilly depicted a linear development from the high Middle Ages onwards towards an ever-more centralized state, regarding the political participation of the subjects as a side-note in history. Only in recent years, Tilly’s paradigm has been questioned from several sides, and more and more attention was drawn towards empowering interactions, to cite the title of a recent volume. The question if, and to what extent the subjects could influence the state formation during the Late Middle Ages will be discussed during this course.


  • Michael Mann, The sources of social power, vol I (Cambrdige 1987) – Partly.

  • C. Tilly, Coercion, capital, and European states, AD 990-1992 (Cambridge, Oxford 1992);

Additional reading to be announced

Semester II, weeks 4-6

Email: Dr. M.A. Ebben

Power politics and diplomacy. New approaches in the history of Western Diplomacy
One of the oldest fields in the discipline of history is the study of diplomacy. It is also often considered to one of the most old-fashioned, conservative and Eurocentric, isolated from other areas of investigation and not susceptible to the theoretical and methodological innovations that have transformed almost other sector of the profession. These criticisms are only in part true. In the last decades diplomatic history has been very much influenced by other disciplines, especially the study of politics and anthropology. This course aims to analyse the developments in the historiography of medieval and early modern diplomacy since 1950. Special attention will be paid to new initiatives to innovate the study of the practice of diplomacy, its evolution, theory and administration.


  • J. Black, A History of Diplomacy (London 2010).

  • G. Mattingly, Renaissance Diplomacy (New York 1988).

Additional reading to be announced in class.

Course objectives

Students (a) familiarise themselves with some key debates in the field (b)learn how to analyse and contextualise a historical discussion © learn how to discuss and analyse such a debate succinctly (d) learn how to write a review


See here

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Students will be asked to prepare and sometimes to report in writing on the reading they do for the classes. They will also write a short essay or review article on each of the two topics they study.



Reading list

See above.


via uSis.

Contact information

Email: Prof.dr. J.F.J. Duindam