Immigration and integration in a Mediterranean city : the making of the citizen in fifteenth-century Barcelona
Title: Immigration and integration in a Mediterranean city : the making of the citizen in fifteenth-century Barcelona
Author: OBRADORS, Carolina
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2015
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This thesis explores the norms, practices, and experiences that conditioned urban belonging in Late Medieval Barcelona. A combination of institutional, legal, intellectual and cultural analysis, the dissertation investigates how citizenship evolved and functioned on the Barcelonese stage. To this end, the thesis is structured into two parts. Part 1 includes four chapters, within which I establish the legal and institutional background of the Barcelonese citizen. Citizenship as a fiscal and individual privilege is contextualised within the negotiations that shaped the limits and prerogatives of monarchical and municipal power from the thirteenth to the late fourteenth centuries. This analysis brings out the dialogical nature of citizenship. I study how the evolution of citizenship came to include the whole citizenry of Barcelona as a major actor in the constant definition and perception of the rights and duties of the citizen. In an attempt to mirror the considerable literature on Italian jurists, the last chapter of part 1 contrasts the legal intricacies of Barcelonese citizenship with the thought developed by major contemporary Catalan jurists. From the analyses conducted in these first chapters, I argue that reputation was the basis of citizenship in fifteenth-century Barcelona. Thus, the three chapters that constitute part 2 are devoted to a cultural analysis of citizenship and unravel the social mechanisms that determined the creation of citizen reputation. The making of the citizen is therefore placed at the core of Barcelonese daily life in an attempt to elaborate on the social imagination and experience of citizenship in the Catalan city. Throughout the whole dissertation, Barcelona and the Barcelonese remain at the core of the analysis. The richness of the material conserved for this city allows me to employ micro-analytical lenses in the study of the citizenry and its citizens, exploring, in the words of Pietro Costa, the ‘exasperation of differences’ that characterised the experience of medieval citizenship. Nonetheless, Barcelona also emerges in this study as a methodological reference point that can help to reframe medieval citizenship in broader terms, shedding new light on the meaning of civic life in the Late Medieval Mediterranean.
Defence date: 8 July 2015; Examining Board: Prof. Luca Molà, (EUI, Supervisor); Prof. Regina Grafe, (EUI, Second Reader); Dr. Roser Salicrú i Lluch (Institució Milà i Fontanals -CSIC, External Supervisor); Prof. Bartolomé Yun-Casalilla (EUI, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville); Prof. James Amelang (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).
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