Medieval and Modern Civil Wars

A Comparative Perspective

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Most medieval historians have explained the ‘civil wars’ in Scandinavia in the 12th and 13th centuries as internal conflicts within a predominantly national and implicitly state-centered politico-constitutional framework. This book argues that the conflicts during this period should be viewed as less disruptive, less internal and less state-centered than in previous research. It does so through six articles comparing the civil wars in Scandinavia with civil wars in Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau in the last decades, applying theories and perspectives from anthropology and political science. Finally, four articles discuss civil wars in a broader perspective.

Contributors are Ebrahim Afsah, Gerd Althoff, Jenny Benham, John Comaroff, Hans Jacob Orning, Frederik Rosén, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, Henrik Vigh, Helle Vogt, Stephen D. White, and Øyvind Østerud.

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Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, Ph.D. (1993), is a Professor of Medieval History at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. He has published several books on Icelandic and Scandinavian history in the period c. 800-1500.

Hans Jacob Orning, Ph.D. (2004), is a Professor of Medieval History at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo. He has written extensively on the political culture in medieval Scandinavia.
Contents
Acknowledgements
Notes on ContributorsIII
IntroductionX
Jón Viðar Sigurðsson and Hans Jacob Orning

1 Constant Crisis
Hans Jacob Orning and Henrik Vigh

2 Who Is the Enemy? Multipolar Micropolitics
Jón Viðar Sigurðsson and Henrik Vigh

3 Sverris saga: A Manifesto for a New Political Order
Hans Jacob Orning and Frederik Rosén

4 The War, and What Is Mine: Private Ownership in the Civil Wars in Norway and Denmark in the High Middle Ages
Frederik Rosén and Helle Vogt

5 The Contingent State between Ideal and Practice
Ebrahim Afsah and Jenny Benham

6 Peace: How to Stop Fighting, Win Friends and Influence People
Ebrahim Afsah and Jón Viðar Sigurðsson

7 Re-Thinking “Rebellion” and “Civil War” in Medieval England: The War of the Son against the Father (1173–74)
Stephen D. White

8 The Formation of Trust: On the History of an Elementary Category of Peacebuilding
Gerd Althoff

9 The Rise and Fall of the Leviathan: A Juxtaposition of Pre-State and Post-State Wars
Øyvind Østerud

10 Reflections on the Political Theology of Conflict: From Medieval Scandinavia to the Global Future
John Comaroff

Index
All interested in civil wars, either medieval or contemporary, and anyone concerned with comparison as a method.