The enclosure of movement : safe-conduct and the politics of mobility in the Holy Roman Empire
Title: The enclosure of movement : safe-conduct and the politics of mobility in the Holy Roman Empire
Author: SCHOLZ, Luca
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2016
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
"The Enclosure of Movement" explores the historical relationship between early modern state-building and the channelling of inter-polity mobility. Few historical settings offer a more illuminating prospect on this problem than the Holy Roman Empire, a variably integrated array of more than three-hundred quasi-sovereign polities between the Alps and the North Sea. The movements of goods and people through this fragmented political landscape engendered countless conflict-fraught encounters between travellers, local communities and the deputies of several hundred rulers. In the Old Reich, the politics of mobility were frequently framed in terms of 'safe-conduct', the quasi-sovereign right to escort travellers and to levy customs duties on passing goods and people. Based on manuscript, printed and visual sources from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries, collected in more than twenty archives, I survey interactions between state deputies, mobile populations and other stakeholders, reconstructing how passage and obstruction were negotiated at ground level. Detailed studies explore contentious processions, boundary disputes, techniques to channel mobility, self-serving orders of movement resting on ambiguous forms of protection, as well as seminal ideological debates around freedom of movement and its restriction. The study contributes to a better understanding of the politics of mobility in the Holy Roman Empire and broader accounts of state-building in at least three ways. First, I show that borders were not a privileged site for controlling inter-polity mobility, which challenges conventional conceptions and visualisation of pre-modern statehood. Second, I unearth debates around freedom of movement and its restriction that gave rise to concepts and arguments still in circulation today. Third, I propose a new way of historicizing the politics of mobility and offer a more complex, agency-oriented and open-ended account of how modern statehood gave rise to a contentious regime of movement.
Defence date: 13 September 2016; Examining Board: Professor Jorge Flores, European University Institute; Professor Christophe Duhamelle, École des hautes études en sciences sociales; Professor Luca Molà, European University Institute; Professor Angelo Torre, Università del Piemonte Orientale.
Type of Access: embargoedAccess