08 July 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Law and Governance of a Global City: 17th-century Amsterdam (Amsterdam, June 2020) (DEADLINE EXTENDED: 1 SEP 2019)

(Source: Wikipedia)

We learned of a call for papers for a symposium on law and governance in 17th century Amsterdam. Here the call:

Four hundred years ago, like today, globalisation and urbanisation impacted the world’s cities. In seventeenth-century Amsterdam, the afflux of trade and migrants prompted rapid economic and demographic growth, resulting in dynamic multicultural urban life and leading to complex questions of governance. The foreign merchants and newcomers were governed by the city administrators, who pursued policies of commercial and religious freedom. The governance of the city was both local and global. The Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch East India Company was the most affluent and had a large say in the Company’s policies.

The communities of foreign merchants and often well-skilled newcomers were very well connected to their home regions and cities contributing to the constitution of Amsterdam at the center of global trade networks. It was the city where the first ‘modern’ stock exchange was established and the availability of capital pushed the Amsterdam and Dutch economy into a new phase of capitalism. The Dutch hegemony in the global slave trade soon made a significant contribution to the wealth of the city. The Burgerzaal of the seventeenth-century City Hall visualised the city’s bold ambition: Amsterdam as the center of a global (commercial)empire – the center of the universe.  From 1500 to 1700 Amsterdam grew from 12.000 to 200.000 inhabitants, mostly due to massive immigration. The city’s relatively tolerant intellectual climate contributed to an influx of – sometimes very wealthy – religious refugees as well as progressive/radical thinkers.Economics and politics were highly intertwinned. Economic interests and ambitions went hand in hand with political interests and ambitions. The public and the private were very much intertwined. How to govern such a rapidly expanding and very diverse city well? How did this impact existing local government practices? How to approach global trade and commercial activities stemming from and coming through Amsterdam? How did law and government support and contribute to the Amsterdam economy, and vice versa? How did the city governors deal with the risks, tensions and complications of a city and its people catapulted into a global existence? How did the city government approach Amsterdam’s immigration and diversity? What were the legal and institutional responses to the local and global challenges that came with globalisation and urbanisation in this 17th century city? The revolt against Spain ended ultimately in a quest for independence. But how to organise and govern a leading city of this emerging state? Where should sovereignty be vested? How did Amsterdam contribute to the position of The Dutch Republic on the international stage? The Dutch Republic developed into a (con)federalised state with powerful towns and Holland as the most urbanised province. Amsterdam – the rising metropolis of a rapidly expanding colonial Empire - was a city in need of new ideas, policies and institutions to govern at home and abroad. The global role of cities and city-based companies contributed to a normative discourse, which drew on different bodies of law, including (Dutch-)Roman law and the emerging law of nations and nature, ius gentium et naturale.   Slavery, trade, war, as well as discussions of religious toleration, justice and good government triggered legal questions and debates.

Against this background, this Call for Papers invites submissions engaging with the aforementioned questions and issues related to three themes:  I.  City of commerce and tradeII. City of immigration and diversity III. City of Innovative governance and law

Call for papers:

We call on scholars from legal history, history and theory of international law, urban history, as well as scholars from related disciplines, such as political philosophy, economic history, social history, history of ideas and intellectual history, history of slavery and empire, and migration studies, to send an abstract of circa 500-700 words setting out the prospective paper they would like to submit for inclusion in the symposium dealing with one of thethemes identified within the overarching topic of law and governance of Amsterdam in the 17th-century. 

Abstracts July1st, 2019
On the basis of the Abstracts we will select authors by September 1st, 2019.
Deadline First Draft March1st, 2020 Selected Authors’deadline for first draft.
Symposium June2020

In June 2020, a symposium will take place in Amsterdam to bring together the selected authors.
Co-donors / co-organisers: ERC-Project led by Dave De ruysscher (Tilburg University), ‘Coherence in Law Through Legal Scholarship’ ( ).Gieskes Strijbis-project led by Janne Nijman (Asser Institute/University of Amsterdam), ‘The Global City: Trust, Challenges, and the Role of Law’ ( ). VIDI-Project led by Bram van Hofstraeten (Maastricht University), ‘What's in a Name? Challenging Early Modern Ideal-Types of Private Partnerships in the Low Countries (17th-18th Centuries)’ ( )

All info can be found here

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