Mass culture tells us that medieval political life was somewhat like ‘Game of Thrones’ – kings and dynasties fiercely fighting each other for power. This image is rather far from the complexities of late medieval politics, where institutions played at least as big a role as kings and queens. Some of these institutions, having survived disappeared states and borders, are still with us today. They can teach us a lesson or two about politics – and so can the great crisis to which late medieval Europe succumbed with the Reformation.
Maria Golubeva is a policy analyst and historian from Riga. She has studied History at Cambridge University (PhD, 1999) and has worked in Latvian public administration, in a public policy consultancy in Brussels, and at the think-tank Providus. She has published a number of policy studies and the book “Models of Political Competence” on history of political ideas in late medieval Europe.