Item Number: 148728
Title: City and Society in the Low Countries, 1100-1600
Author: Blonde, Bruno (et al)
Record created on 04/20/18
Description: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 25cm., hardcover, 316pp.
Summary: The Low Countries was collectively one of the earliest and most heavily urbanised societies in European history. Present-day Belgium and the Netherlands still share important common features, such as comparatively low income inequalities, high levels of per capita income, a balanced political structure, and a strong 'civil society'. This book traces the origins of this specific social model in medieval patterns of urbanisation, while also searching for explanations for the historical reproduction of social inequalities. Access to cheap inland river navigation and to the sea generated a 'river delta' urbanisation that explains the persistence of a decentralised urban economic network, marked by intensive cooperation and competition and by the absence of real metropolises. Internally as well, powerful checks and balances prevented money and power from being concentrated. Ultimately, however, the utmost defining characteristic of the Low Countries' urban cultures was located in their resilient middle classes.
Contents: 1. City and society in the Low Countries. Urbanisation and urban historiography, Bruno Blondé, Marc Boone and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene. 2. Economic vitality: urbanisation, regional complementarity and European interaction, Wim Blockmans, Bert De Munck and Peter Stabel. 3. Living together in the city: social relationships between norm and practice, Bruno Blondé, Frederik Buylaert, Jan Dumolyn, Jord Hanus and Peter Stabel. 4. 'The common good': governance, discipline and political culture, Marc Boone and Jelle Haemers. 5. Civic religion: community, identity and religious transformation, Guido Marnef and Anne-Laure Van Bruaene. 6. Urban space: infrastructure, technology and power, Claire Billen and Chloé Deligne. 7. At home in the city: the dynamics of material culture, Inneke Baatsen, Bruno Blondé, Julie De Groot and Isis Sturtewagen. 8. Education and knowledge: theory and practice in an urban context, Bert De Munck and Hilde De Ridder-Symoens. 9. Epilogue. The legacy of the medieval city in the Low Countries, Bruno Blondé, Marc Boone and Anne-Laure van Bruaene.
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