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Michael Burger
Mississippi University for Women (Columbus, MS 39701-5821)
Power over Distance: English Diocesan Governance in the Thirteenth Century

In modern organizations, commands are obeyed by people who may rarely or never see the people whose orders they carry out. But it was the High Middle Ages (ca. 1000-1300) that saw the rise of centralizing bureaucracies exercising power over distance; they were the forerunners of those "faceless" institutions so characteristic of the modern world. And, then as now, one of their central concerns was how to ensure that subordinates will indeed carry out such commands. Despite recent work, this issue, I argue, was an especially pressing one when such organizations were new.

Project fields:
Medieval Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2004 – 8/31/2004