The Europe of the Luxembourg Dynasty. Governance, Delegation and Participation between Region and Empire

From 1308 to 1437, the House of Luxembourg ruled over a vast collection of diverse and scattered territories in the Empire. The LUXDYNAST research project aims to provide the first global assessment of the administration of this composite monarchy, the so-called Europe of the Luxembourg dynasty.

The Europe of the Luxembourg dynasty: governance, negotiation and participation

Between the election of Henry VII of Luxembourg as King of the Romans in 1308 and the death of Emperor Sigismund in 1437, the territorial network under the control of the House of Luxembourg underwent major transformations. Managing the network, which encompassed disparate traditions, political realities and temporalities, meant striking a permanent balance between thinking global and acting local. The question of the way the dynasty coped with this diversity lies at the heart of the LUXDYNAST project. The FNR-funded research focuses on the sovereign, on the one hand, and political society (nobility, towns and clergy) on the other. Rejecting the traditional insistence on the top-down processes of the exercise of power, the project analyses the multiple interactions between the various political actors and their impact on political communication and institutional functioning. The notions of negotiation, political representation and participation are thus at the heart of this enquiry, which is of great relevance to the analysis of contemporary multi-level governance where all political decisions presuppose a consensus between widely varying levels of authority.


Multilevel Governance between East and West, between local and global

By studying the multilevel governance of a vast agglomeration of territories (Luxembourg, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Tyrol, Brabant, Brandenburg, the Italian Signoria, etc.) in the Holy Empire, the project addresses the issues of territorial identity and dynastic and imperial identity in East and West. How did the imperial dynasty of Luxembourg accommodate this situation? What strategic choices did the rulers make to manage the dichotomy between the regional and the global? The project takes into account intercultural contexts in their various historical, social, spatial and political dimensions. In this way, the study of the construction of the Europe of the Luxembourg dynasty at the time of the pre-modern state provides a better understanding of the current Europe of the regions.

Three main research areas

Three research areas are of central concern:

  1. The transcendent authority of the sovereign at the central level and the functioning of his court and administration;
  2. the modes of government at the regional level and the spectrum of solutions from delegation to participation, including collaboration with local elites;
  3. the decision-making processes and the need to reach consensus.



People related to this project