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ITW ConsentThe ITW "Consent" pursues the goal of further clarifying the concept of consensual rule ("konsensuale Herrschaft", Bernd Schneidmüller) and examining its transcultural viability through a close look at consensual elements of premodern political decision-making. The presumed unrestrictedness of the decision-making power of supreme rulers in premodern orders is thus to be further questioned and the negotiating character of rule is to be given even more attention.

The focus will be on supreme rulers and their relationship to the political elite of the empire: To what extent can different degrees of consensual rule be distinguished? Can a typology be developed on this basis, especially in a transcultural comparison? In this context, it is necessary to consider the form in which consensual elements of political decision-making are encountered in different sources (chronicles, charters, submissions to the throne, mirrors for princes, etc.), what terms are used for them, and what role they play in these texts themselves.

In addition, the project will examine religious and fundamentally intellectual-historical conceptions of consensus, theoretical reflections on the concept, the qualifications of the actors involved in the decision-making process, the degree of institutionalisation of such processes, and the topics dealt with in them.

MH_009More on this topic: In November 2017, the sub-projects Becher/Dohmen, Conermann and Schwermann organised the workshop "Entscheiden und Regieren. Konsens als Element politischer Entscheidungsfindung" [follow-up report in German]. The contributions are bundled in the volume: Linda Dohmen/Tilmann Trausch (edd.), Entscheiden und Regieren. Konsens als Element vormoderner Entscheidungsfindung in transkultureller Perspektive (Macht und Herrschaft 9), Göttingen 2019.


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