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Administrative power and State formation: late Medieval Siena

5 novembre 2012
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
This paper investigates the institutional process that characterized political change and state capacity in the late medieval independent commune of Siena. After the mid-14th century economic crisis, Italian city-states were either turning to oligarchic forms of power or they were losing independence under the pressure of external threats. Siena, instead, developed an institutional framework based on extended participation of social groups to administrative and political power. In the following two centuries the city remained independent and preserved its capacity to collect and use financial resources. Two are the main contributions of the study. Combining historical and theoretical analysis, the paper underlines the mechanisms through which different forms of administrative organization were selecting and supporting different equilibria in political power motivating the existence, after the mid-14th century, of coalitional governments with high popular representativeness. The use of original communal registers will show that the increased cooperation maintained the capacity of the state to collect resources from the community and to provide public services to the city and the controlled territory.
Fochesato, Mattia - Università degli Studi di Siena - Siena