This course is part of the (Res)MA History Programme. It is not accessible for BA students.
From the late Middle Ages, maritime conflict has developed hand in hand with international trade. Over time, specific institutions were established to address disputes arising from violence or mishap at sea and in coastal areas. Conflict resolution at sea has mostly been studied through the lens of the history of diplomacy and international law. Of late the emphasis has shifted to the process of conflict resolution itself. There is a detailed interest in the different actors and institutions involved alongside in-depth case studies. Conflict management has a wider meaning than conflict resolution, as the concept includes alternative modes of dealing with conflicts that do not necessarily involve resolving them. Beyond classical issues such as naval warfare, piracy and privateering, medievalists and historians exploring the worlds of the early modern Mediterranean and Atlantic have increasingly devoted attention to processes of conflict settlement and conflict avoidance, while also looking into the vast diversity of formal judicial procedures and informal or private paths of settlements.
How did victims of maritime conflicts claim compensation or reparation? How and to what extent did they get support from authorities and polities? How did individual actors and public institutions negotiate disputes which transcended jurisdictional boundaries (for example those involving reprisal and piracy)? What strategies, arrangements and agreements were resorted in order to achieve resolution of those conflicts, and with what effectiveness?
In the seminar these questions will be studied by focusing on case studies based on a variety of published and unpublished sources. These case studies will be connected and compared with recently published case studies.
The first course consists of an entry test for which the following literature should be read:
Cordes, A, ‘Litigating abroad : merchant’s expectations regarding procedure before foreign courts according to the hanseatic privileges (12th - 16th c.)’ available at http://www.konfliktloesung.eu/de/veroeffentlichungen/wps/
Heebøll-Holm, Thomas, Ports, Piracy and Maritime War. Piracy in the English Channel and the Atlantic, c. 1280- c. 1330 (Leiden and Boston 2013) a selection of pages, to be announced!
North, D., Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance (Cambridge 1990) 107-140.
Gelderblom, O., Cities of Commerce. The Institutional Foundations of International Trade in the Low Countries 1250-1650 (Princeton and Oxford 2013) 102-140.
Sicking, L., ‘Europeanisation and Globlisation of Maritime Conflict Management’, The Journal for the History of International Law (2018)
Comparative Legal History 5.1 (2017) Special Issue: Maritime Conflict Management, Diplomacy and International Law, 1100-1800: the introduction and the following five articles.
Continuity and Change 31.1 (2017) Special Issue on Commercial Quarrels: the introduction and the following three articles.
General learning objectives
The student has acquired:
1) The ability to independently identify and select literature, using traditional and modern techniques;
2) The ability to independently identify and select sources, using traditional and modern techniques;
3) The ability to analyse and evaluate a corpus of sources with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
4) The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
5) The ability to independently formulate a clear and well-argued research question, taking into account the theory and method of the field and to reduce this question to accessible and manageable sub-questions;
6) The ability to independently set up and carry out an original research project that can make a contribution to existing scholarly debates;
7) The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
8) The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
9) The ability to provide constructive feedback to and formulate criticism of the work of others and the ability to evaluate the value of such criticism and feedback on one’s own work and incorporate it;
10) (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.
Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation
11) Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the specialisation or subspecialisation as well as of the historiography of the specialisation Europe 1000-1800, with a particular focus on the broader processes of political, social and cultural identity formation between about 1000-1800; awareness of problems of periodisation and impact of ‘national’ historiographical traditions on the field.
12) Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of the specialisation Europe 1000-1800, with a particular focus on the ability to analyse and evaluate primary sources from the period, if necessary with the aid of modern translations; ability to make use of relevant methods of quantitative and qualitative analysis to interpret sources in their textual and historical context.
Learning objectives, pertaining to this Research Seminar
The student aqcuires:
13) Will acquire knowledge and understanding of maritime conflict management around Europe (1200-1600), of its main contemporary sources, and of its historiography
14) Will learn to think beyond the usual boundaries in time and space, that is across the traditional caesura in European history, and across the European world of Christendom and Islam.
15) Will learn to write an essay with a focus on one or more cases concerning on one type of conflict resolution or management and contextualise this type of conflict management in the broader diplomatic, economic or cultural (religious) context. He/she will learn to reflect on the different approaches brought to conflict management chosen by specialists while at the same time he will learn to frame it in recent historiography on conflict management.
16) ResMA students will additionally learn to make a comparison between conflict management in different areas. They will also learn to reflect on the methodological challenges of comparative approaches.
The timetable is available on the MA History website
Mode of instruction
- Seminar (compulsory attendance)
This means that students have to attend every session of the course. If a student is not able to attend, he is required to notify the teacher beforehand. The teacher will determine if and how the missed session can be compensated by an additional assignment. If specific restrictions apply to a particular course, the teacher will notify the students at the beginning of the semester. If a student does not comply with the aforementioned requirements, he will be excluded from the seminar.
Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours
Lectures 12 x 2 = 24 hours
Entry test and Study of literature for course as well as for individual research and peer review: 60 hours
Preparation bibliographical survey (discussion paper): 40 hours
Preparation oral presentation: 56 hours
(Further) research and writing final report: 100 hours
time spent on reading-writing-preparation will differ per student
Written paper (6500-7500 words, based on research in primary sources, excluding title page, table of contents, footnotes and bibliography)
measured learning objectives: 1-8, 9-15
Entry test and study of literature
measured learning objectives: 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13-15
Measured learning objectives: 3-7, 8-15
Preparation bibliographical survey
measured learning objectives: 1, 2, 4, 7-9, 12, 14-15
Bibliographical research, including published sources
measured learning objectives: 1-6, 8-15
Written paper: 60%
Oral presentation: 20 %
Entry test and participation 10 %
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that the written paper must always be sufficent.
Assignments and written papers should be handed in within the deadline as provided in the relevant course outline on Blackboard.
Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.
How and when a review of the written paper will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the results, a review of the written paper will have to be organised.
Blackboard will be used for:
publication course outline
communication of deadlines
Kuehn, Thomas, ‘Conflict resolution and legal systems’ , in C. Lansing en E.D. English eds., A Companion to the Medieval World (2009) 335-353.
D. North, Institutions, Instittutional Change and Economy Performance (Cambridge 1990) 107-140.
O. Gelderblom, Cities of Commerce. The Institutional Foundations pf International Trade in the Low Countries 1250-1650 (Princeton and Oxford 2013) 102-140.
Comparative Legal History 5.1 (2017) Special Issue: Maritime Conflict Management, Diplomacy and International Law, 1100-1800 (Louis Sicking ed.): the introduction and the following five articles.
Continuity and Change 31.1 (2017) Special Issue on Commercial Quarrels. The first four articles
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
If only Dutch speaking students participate the course will be in Dutch.