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Title: The legal ordering of the medieval international
Author: Costa Lopez, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 6423
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Although International Relations scholars make frequent reference to the Middle Ages, most of our ideas about the period are not based on extensive empirical studies. Instead, they rely on a common imaginary of Medieval Europe as an unspecified and idealised system of overlapping authority and multiple loyalties. This thesis recovers a historical understanding of the late-medieval international order by focusing on the fundamental conceptions of the organization of the social held by medieval international practitioners. In particular, it examines a specific community of practice: lawyers of the ius commune from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries. In doing so, this thesis makes three contributions to the IR literature. From a theoretical point of view, it adds to both English School and constructivist studies of historical international order by focusing on the process of differentiation through representation, as well as on contestation within it. In doing so, it argues for a move from a static understanding of order to the more dynamic notion of ordering. Secondly, it contributes methodologically to the historical study of ideas by proposing a methodological emphasis on communities of practitioners as a middle-ground between abstract constructivism and narrow Skinnerian analysis that facilitates the historically grounded consideration of the ordering role of language and ideas. Finally, empirically, this thesis demonstrates the analytical leverage gained from these theoretical moves by providing a detailed account of the international order from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries, focusing not only on stability, but also on the contentious process of ordering. As a result, this thesis provides a new understanding of late-medieval notions of political authority, community, polity, and identity, while simultaneously highlighting the politics of representation behind them.
Supervisor: Keene, Eddie Sponsor: La Caixa Foundation ; University of Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International relations--History--To 1500 ; Jurisprudence--History--To 1500 ; Law--History--To 1500 ; Power (Social sciences)--History--To 1500 ; Europe--History--476-1492 ; Europe--Politics and government--476-1492