Polycentric states : the Spanish reigns and the "failures" of mercantilism
Title: Polycentric states : the Spanish reigns and the "failures" of mercantilism
Author: GRAFE, Regina
Citation: Philip J. STERN and Carl WENNERLIND (eds), Mercantilism reimagined : political economy in early modern Britain and its empire, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013 [(C) 2014], pp. 241-262
ISBN: 9780199988532; 9780199369997
The set of policy priorities that emanated from the economic ideology that broadly defined as mercantilism, could not be turned into mercantilist practices because it collided with Spanish notions of political representation and participation. Mercantilist policies confronted the very real challenges in a polity, like the Spanish Empire, defined by composite forms of sovereignty and power. Political practice in a polycentric polity was characterized by political participation through municipal, local or regional institutions, and entirely irreconcilable with economic and political regulation at the “national” level. Thus, what has tended to appear historiographically as a failure of particular policies or their implementation can be seen instead more appropriately as an illustration of the incompatibility between the aspirations of mercantilist theories and polycentric governance.
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