Disputing Strategies in Medieval Scandinavia

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In Scandinavia the study of disputes is still a relatively new topic: The papers offered here discuss how conflicts were handled in Scandinavian societies in the Middle Ages before the emergence of strong centralized states. What strategies did people use to contest power, property, rights, honour, and other kinds of material or symbolic assets? Seven essays by Scandinavian scholars are supplemented by contributions from Stephen White, John Hudson and Gerd Althoff, to provide a new baseline for discussing both the strategies pursued in the political game and those used to settle local disputes. Using practice and process as key analytical concepts, these authors explore formal law and litigation in conjunction with non-formal legal proceedings such as out-of-court mediation, rituals, emotional posturing, and feuding. Their insights place the Northern medieval world in a European context of dispute studies. With introductory sections on social structure, sources materials, and the historiography of Scandinavian dispute studies. Contributors are Gerd Althoff, Catharina Andersson, Kim Esmark, Lars Ivar Hansen, Lars Hermanson, John Hudson, Audur G. Magnusdottir, Hans Jacob Orning, Helle Vogt and Stephen D. White.