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Grant number: FT-254626-17

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Andrew A. Latham
Macalester College (St. Paul, MN 55105-1899)

Ideas of Sovereignty in the Later Middle Ages

A book-length study on the medieval origins of the concept of sovereignty.

The conventional wisdom in the field of International Relations (IR) is that "sovereignty" is an unambiguously modern political concept invented by decidedly modern political thinkers like Jean Bodin. The major contribution of this study is to challenge this conventional wisdom by demonstrating the existence of a robust discourse on sovereignty during the high and late Middle Ages. In so doing, this study will call into question the radical “Otherness” of the medieval era that is so central to the identity of the field of IR. It will also complement a body of work within the field of Medieval Political Thought that addresses issues of political authority, but that neither adequately theorizes the idea of sovereignty nor provides a unified account of its evolution during the later Middle Ages.

Project fields:
International Relations; Medieval History; Political History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 6/30/2017