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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55633
Doc. No:TL25587
Call number:‭3373579‬
Main Entry:Megan Kathryn Williams
Title & Author:Dangerous diplomacy & dependable kin: Transformations in Central European statecraft, 1526-1540Megan Kathryn Williams
College:Columbia University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:469
Abstract:This dissertation examines the challenges of political communication between early modern polities at a time when the norms of diplomacy were being comprehensively renegotiated. Whereas many studies of early modern diplomacy focus on the diplomat's activities at his host-court, I assert the fundamental place of travel in diplomatic practice, in the construction and governance of early modern states, and in the development of legal norms to regulate relations between those emerging states. The project is structured around two aspects of mobility prominent in archivally-preserved early sixteenth-century diplomatic correspondence: contested claims to immunity in transit (dangerous diplomacy), and the kinship networks diplomats relied upon to facilitate their mobility (dependable kin). The contested Hungarian succession after 1526 and diplomatic rivalry of royal claimants Ferdinand I Habsburg (r.1527-1556) and János Szapolyai (r. 1526-1540) offers a valuable perspective into these changing conceptions of diplomacy, territory and statecraft in early modern Europe and on the borders of an expanding Ottoman Empire. The initial portion of this dissertation interrogates legal discourses of violated diplomatic immunity in transit and the administrative technologies adapted by the Habsburgs to regulate diplomatic traffic across their domains, demonstrating the insecurity of early sixteenth-century diplomatic transit and the growing significance of territorial borders in Central Europe. The concluding portion explores strategies diplomats employed to extend their mobility, from the expanding role of the safe-conduct - precursor to the transit visa - to the ubiquity of kinship networks in Renaissance diplomacy. Drawing on anthropological and sociological theory, I show how diplomats, far from their usual portrayal as isolated public actors, cultivated extensive family networks to overcome challenges to their mobility. . Through a focus on diplomacy's constitutive personnel and their mobility across emerging territorial borders, this dissertation adopts a multilateral approach to the history of European state formation and contributes to a more broadly-conceived and negotiative interpretation of "the political" in early modern diplomacy and history. Moving beyond "diplomacy-as-high-politics" modernization narratives or national and Cold War-era conceptions of this controversial period in Central Europe, I strive to re-integrate the Habsburg lands, historical Kingdom of Hungary, and Ottoman frontiers into broader narratives of early modern history.
Subject:Social sciences; History of diplomacy; History of international law; Early modern history; Habsburg; Hungary; Diplomacy; Statecraft; European history; Law; 0398:Law; 0335:European history
Added Entry:Columbia University