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Varia Historia

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GILLI, Patrick. The sources of political space: electoral techniques and deliberative practices in Italian cities (12th to 14th centuries). Varia hist. [online]. 2010, vol.26, n.43, pp.91-106. ISSN 0104-8775.

For those who research, in the usual practices of the Middle Ages, remains of a space of political mediation, the world of the Italian communes of the XII-XIV centuries offers a privileged laboratory of observation. The development of representative institutions ("legalislative" councils and "executive" colleges) was characterized by the use of techniques for selection of management personnel to prevent the monopoly of some families and ensure the rotation of assignments within the ruling classes. This article examines the sources, notably the statutes, which define the modes of representation of citizens called to govern or to take decisions. It uses the chronology of the introduction of the principle of representation that is imposed upon the unanimity. Examining also the elections, it seeks to clarify what contemporaries desired to value by selecting the rulers using this system. Particular attention is given to the substantive issues of the votes and ballots (secret elections, electoral installation of degrees, etc.)

Keywords : electoral techniques; Italian communes; deliberative practices.

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