An academic blog dedicated to the research program “Domination : forms and modalities of medieval governmentality” by the medievalists of the Artois University

This research notebook is concieved as an editorial extension of the research program “Domination: forms and modalities of medieval governmentality”, led by medieval historians from the CREHS (Centre de Recherche et d’Études – Histoire et Sociétés / UR 4027) of Artois University, in partnership with the Franco-German Institute of Historical and Social Sciences (IFRA-SHS / Frankfurt-am-Main) and the Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (UMR 8589 / Université Paris 1 – CNRS). This program proposes to observe the forms and modalities of domination during the Middle Ages, through the prism of a re-reading of Max Weber’s theoretical observations (1864-1920).

It will therefore about examining the frameworks and the articulation of domination forms in the Middle Ages, around three main axes suggested by the sociologist: “patrimonial domination”, lineage strategies and the territorial conflicts which result from it (A. Bayard, L. Leleu, M. Suttor); “charismatic domination” and methods of production of a political belief (A. Bayard, A. Destemberg, L. Leleu, A. Provost); “legal-rational domination” and formation of legal and intellectual tools of domination (A. Destemberg, A. Provost). This program takes place in a renewed form of the historiography of “governmentality” in medieval societies, attentive to strategies of social regulation, to conflicts, to informal practices of domination, to the enunciation of the norm, to semantic constructions and to classificatory logics of power. As an interdisciplinary and international program, it aims to bring together historians, sociologists, anthropologists, political scientists, jurists, literary scholars and art historians, around a common reading of the proposals of Weberian political sociology, discussed in the light of a pragmatics of power in medieval societies. Adopting Michel Foucault’s proposals to think in terms of “governmentality” too, the “Domination” project aims to observe the technologies of power acting in the development of political rationality, and will be attentive to the strategies of persuasion and the performativity of the argumentative productions of power.

This academic blog is intended to be the editorial extension of a research program which is conceived as a work in progress, allowing to develop a collective, interdisciplinary and comparative reflection, and to constitute a national and international synergy of researchers: it will therefore offer announcements, reports or recordings of seminars and workshops, scientific and editorial monitoring and a presentation of studies realized by the researchers of this group. It constitutes the first part of an editorial project, the second part of which will ultimately be the publication of a collective book about the forms of medieval domination.