What kind of political representation existed in the Ancien Régime? Which social sectors were given a voice, and how were they represented in the institutions? These are some of the issues addressed by the authors of this book from different institutional angles (monarchies and republics; parliaments and municipalities), from various European territories and finally from a connected and comparative perspective.

The aim is twofold: analyse the different mechanisms of political representation before Liberalism, their strengths and limitations; value the processes of oligarchisation and the possible mismatch between a libertarian model and a reality which was far from its idealised image.

chapter 1|13 pages


part I|17 pages

Preliminary Remarks

chapter 2|15 pages

Enterprising Politics or Routine Dealings?

Political Participation in Europe Before 1800

part II|108 pages

Some European Cases

part |51 pages


chapter 4|17 pages


Political Foundations of the French Province, 15th–18th Century

part |34 pages

Italian Republics and Imperial Cities

chapter 6|16 pages

Governing in a Republican State

A Case Study of Genoa From Medieval to Modern Times*

chapter 7|16 pages

Political Representation and Symbolic Communication in the Early Modern Period

The Imperial Cities of the Holy Roman Empire*

part III|193 pages

The Spanish Monarchy

part |55 pages

The Crown of Aragon: The Catalan Case

chapter 13|18 pages

Political Participation in Catalonia

From Zenith to Suppression

chapter 15|21 pages

The Conferència dels Comuns in Catalonia (1656–1714)

A New Form of Representation and Political Participation 1

part |49 pages

Castille and the Basque Territories

chapter 16|17 pages

The Multiple Faces of Representation

Kingdom, Cortes and Estates in the Crown of Castile Under the Habsburgs 1

part |17 pages

Representation in a Polycentric Monarchy of Urban Republics