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Nätverksstaten: Statsbildningsprocesser och rumsliga praktiker i senmedeltidens Sverige ca 1440–1520
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations.
2022 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Network State : State-building processes and spatial practices in Late Medieval Sweden c. 1440–1520 (English)
Abstract [en]

Previous research has examined the late medieval Swedish state from a constitutional and ideological perspective and in terms of the juridical, fiscal, and military organizations. This thesis focuses on the much less known informal and practical-spatial side of the political system. The main questions of this dissertation are: How did the Swedish late medieval state function? How integrated was the state into the local community? Who and how many took part in the activities of the state, and why? The departure for any inquiry into these questions is the Council of the Realm, who reigned during the 15th Century. This thesis study two of its members as case studies: The lawmen Arvid Trolle (c. 1440–1505) and Svarte Åke Jönsson (c. 1420–1494), who both were involved in the state's activities and the local community for as long as 40 years. I use the concept of anthrospace, which denotes the necessity and interplay between social networks, material resources, and movement in space, as the driving force of history. The purpose of this thesis is mapping out the social networks of these two figures and their material resources in form of estates, land, and fiefs. It also means studying how these two lawmen moved through space in relation to their human and material resources.

The results show that Svarte Åke Jönsson and Arvid Trolle had extensive networks both among the aristocratic elite in the Council of the Realm at the national level and in the local community. Their respective households and networks amounted to 100–120 families. Svarte Åke Jönsson´s and Arvid Trolle´s respective family businesses managed between 2 and 9 percent of the state's total revenues from ordinary taxes. Most of the revenues from the castle districts went to maintenance as well as food and salaries for castle crews and other staff. Finally, the results point to a geographical correlation between Arvid Trolle´s and Svarte Åke Jönsson's land, estates, fiefs, official jurisdictions, residences, the extent of their networks, and how they moved through space.

Taken together, the results lead to several important conclusions regarding both the aristocratic household and how the state functioned. Their rather distinctly demarcated geographical life indicates that the state and the execution of state functions were formed as a patchwork of aristocratic family businesses, local bailiffs, county judges, and others who exercised, negotiated, contested, and took advantage of state resources. The results also conclude that the number of people who directly participated in the activities of the state and in the exercise of state functions was a minimum of 7,500–8,000 individuals. This overlapping system of aristocratic households, family businesses, and networks that exercised state functions meant both continuity and stability. The many thousands of people involved in state activities should be considered as a central force in the state-building process. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Bokförlaget Augusti , 2022. , p. 507
Keywords [en]
Sweden, 15th Century, Realm, State formation, Politics and government, Social Networks, Taxes, Travel, Spatiality, Space, Local community, Demography, Offices, County judges, Priests
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-207719ISBN: 978-91-8530-134-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-207719DiVA, id: diva2:1686133
Public defence
2022-09-09, hörsal 6, hus 4, Campus Albano, Albanovägen, 114 19 Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2022-08-17 Created: 2022-08-08 Last updated: 2022-08-08Bibliographically approved

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