This series makes available scholarship that helps us to understand the changing balances between centres of power and the territories under their domination. It takes as a starting point the notion that domination is frequently achieved through conquest and coercion, but is rarely maintained exclusively by such means. The empires as well as the composite states of the pre-modern world always depended to some extent on the integration and cooperation of regional elites. The relationship between rulers and elites took shape in the centre as well as in the regions. At the heart of the dynastic state, rulers found themselves surrounded by a variety of state servants, ranging from personal attendants to advisers, priests, administrators and soldiers. How were such staffs recruited, and how did rulers attempt to secure their lasting loyalty? In addition to the social and institutional intricacies of the ruler’s environment, we invite studies about the architectural and cultural make-up, comparing the layout of palaces, rules for access, and the ritual, artistic, as well as scholarly forms underpinning dynastic legitimacy. Going from the centre to the regions, how did armies, administrators, church and religion, law and justice operate? Were such institutions and practices strongly centralized and filled with rulers’ nominees, or closer to regional elites in personnel and mentality? Was the culture of regional elites oriented strongly towards the standards of the centre? Which forms of contact and representation evolved? To what extent, finally, did the population participate in the practices and rituals of rulership?
These themes and questions offer a framework for comparison which this series will pursue, ideally by publishing work that is in itself comparative, but also by publishing studies focusing on a single region while fitting into the general framework. An initial focus on the early modern Eurasian world leaves open extensions in time and space relevant for the theme.
Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/ or full manuscripts to either the series editor, Jeroen Duindam, or the publisher, Arjan van Dijk at Brill, P.O. Box 9000, 2300 PA Leiden, The Netherlands.
Maaike van Berkel, Radboud University Nijmegen
Yingcong Dai, William Paterson University, NJ
Jean-Pascal Daloz, University of Strasbourg
Jos Gommans, Leiden University
Jérôme Kerlouégan, University of Oxford
Dariusz Kołodziejczyk, Warsaw University
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Cardiff University