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Rights, Relationality, and Membership: Rethinking the Making and Meaning of Citizenship

  • Margaret R. Somers


The republication after 40 years of T. H. Marshall's Citizenship and Social Class signifies a revived interest in sociolegal historical approaches to citizenship rights. For decades students have been guided by Marshall's classic treatise. But can Marshall's argument for the causal power of the “transition from feudalism to capitalism” continue to provide an adequate grounding for sociolegal approaches to citizenship and rights formation? Building on Marshall's path-breaking expansion of the concept of citizenship, I use institutional analysis and causal narrativity to present an alternative explanation. I argue that modem citizenship rights me a contingent outcome of the convergence of England's medieval legal revolutions with its regionally varied local legal and political cultures, not of the emergence of capitalist markets.



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1 Reinhard Bendix, Notion-Building and Citizenship (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977 [1967]); T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class and Other Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1950).

2 Jeffrey C. Alexander, “Citizen and Enemy as Symbolic Classification: On the Polarizing Discourse of Civil Society” (“Alexander, ‘Citizen and Enemy’”), in M. Lamont & M. Foumier, eds., Cultivating Differences: Symbolic Boundaries and the Making of Inequality 289 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992); Rogers Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992) (“Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationalhood”); Anthony Giddens, Profiles and Critiques in Social Theory (London: Macmillan, 1982); id., A Contemporary Critique of Historical Materialism: vol. 2, Nation-State and Violence (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987); Michael Mann, “Ruling Class Strategies and Citizenship,” 21 (3) Sociology 339 (Aug. 1987); Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital, and European States, A.D. 1990–1990 (New York: Basil Blackwell, 1990) (“Tilly, Coercion”); id., “Where Do Rights Come from?” New School for Social Research Working Paper No. 98 (July 1990) (“Tilly, ‘Where Do Rights Come from?’”); Bryan S. Turner, Citizenship and Capitalism (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986) (Turner, Citizenship and Capiitalism); id., ed., Citizenship and Social Theory (Beverly Hills, Cal.: Sage Publications, 1992); Alan Wolfe, Whose Keeper? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989) (“Wolfe, Whose Keeper?”).

3 T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class, with an introduction by Tom Bottomore (Concord, Mass.: Pluto, 1992).

4 On “identity-politics,” see Craig Calhoun, “The Problem of Identity in Collective Action,” in Joan Huber, ed., Macro-Micro Linkages in Sociology 51 (Beverly Hills, Cal.: Sage Publications, 1991); Margaret R. Somers & Gloria Gibson, “Reclaiming the Epistemological ‘Other’: Narrative and the Social Constitution of Identity,” in Craig Calhoun, ed., From Persons to Nations: The Social Constitution of Identity (Oxford: Blackwell, forthcoming); Jean Cohen & Andrew Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992) (“Cohen & Arato, Civil Society”); Jean Cohen, “Strategy or Identity: New Theoretical Paradigms and Contemporary Social Movements,” 52 Soc. Research 663 (1985); Alain Touraine, “An Introduction to the Study of Social Movements,” 52 Soc. Research 749 (1985); Stanley Aronowitz, The Politics of Identity: Class, Culture, Social Movements (New York: Routledge, Chapman & Hall, 1992).

5 Alan Wolfe in Whose Keeper? documents the exclusion of civil society from social science research. See also Cohen & Arato, Civil Society; Craig Calhoun, “Introduction: Habermas and the Public Sphere” (“Calhoun, ‘Introduction’”), in id., ed., Habermas and the Public Sphere 1 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992) (“Calhoun, Habemurs”); Craig Calhoun, “Civil and Public Sphere,” 5 Pub. Culture 267 (1993); Alexander, “Citizen and Enemy” (cited in note 2); Jeffrey Alexander, “Bringing Democracy Back in: Universalistic Solidarity and the Civil Sphere,” in C. Lamont, ed., Intellectuals and Politics: Social Theory in a Changing World 157 (Newbury Park, Cal.: Sage Publications, 1991); Jeffrey Alexander & P. Smith, “The Discourse of American Civil Society: A New Proposal for Cultural Studies,” 22 Theory & Soc'y 151 (1993).

6 See, e.g., J. H. Barbalet, Citizenship (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989); Turner, Citizenship and Capitalism.

7 Somers, Margaret R., “Citizenship and the Place of the Public Sphere: Law, Community, and Political Culture in the Transition to Democracy,” 58 Am. Soc. Rev. 587 (1993).

8 Marshall also has an orphan category of “industrial rights,” which he defines as an aggregate of civil liberties relevant to the industrial sphere of labor.

9 Marx of course was the first to pose this problem. More recently it was addressed by Alan Wolfe in his Limits of Legitimacy (New York: Free Press, 1979), and by James O'Connor in Fiscal Crisis of the State (New York: St. Martin's, 1973). Karl Polanyi has still the most compelling but underrecognized elaboration of the problem in The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957 [1944]) (“Polanyi, Great Transformation”).

10 The critique of social categories as analytic focus is major part of institutional analysis. The theoretical treatise on this is Harrison White, Identity and Control (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990) (“White, Identity and Control”).

11 See Margaret Somers, “The People and the Law: Narrative Identity and the Place of the Public Sphere in the Formation of English Working Class Politics—1300–1850, a Comparative Analysis” (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1986) (“Somers, ‘The People and the Law’”).

12 Susan Reynolds, Fiefs, Vassals and Feudalism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming) (“Reynolds, Fiefs”).

13 See Somers, “The People and the Law” ch. 2, for a discussion of the need to disaggregate our conceptual vocabulary for “feudal society”.

14 A paradigm is more than a theory; it is an entire “problematic” or “knowledge culture” which defines what questions, concepts, and hypotheses are even admissable for discussion in the first place, and what is even to be a candidate to be considered as empirically true or false. See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962); Ian Hacking, “Language, Truth and Reason” in S. Lukes & M. Hollis, eds., Rationality and Relativism (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1982); Margaret R. Somers, “Where Is Social Theory after the Historic Turn? Knowledge Cultures, Narrativity, and Historical Epistemologies” (“Somers, ‘Where Is Social Theory?’”), in Terrence J. McDonald, ed., The Historic Turn in the Human Sciences (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, forthcoming) (“McDonald, Historic Turn”). Reynolds discusses the process of “filtering-out” in both Fiefs (cited in note 12) and her earlier Kingdom and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984) (“Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities”).

15 Michael Mann, 1 The Sources of Social Power 2 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986) (“Mann, Sources of Social Power”); Charles Tilly, Big Structures, Large Processes, Huge Comparisons (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1984) (“Tilly, Big Structures”); White, Identity and Control.

16 See Karl Polanyi, “The Economy as an Instituted Process,” in Karl Polanyi et al., eds., Trade and Market in the Early Empires 243 (New York: Free Press, 1957); J. March & J. Olsen, “The New Institutionalism: Organizational Factors in Political Life,” 78 Am. Pol. Sci. Rev. 734 (1984); J. Meyer & B. Rowan, “Institutionalized Organizations: Formal Structure as Myth and Ceremony,” in W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio, eds., The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis 41 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991 [1977]) (“Powell & DiMaggio, New Institutionalism”); R. Jepperson, “Institutions, Institutional Effects, and Institutionalism,” in Powell & DiMaggio, New Institutionalism 143; R. Friedland & R. Alford, “Bringing Society Back in: Symbols, Practices, and Institutional Contradictions,” in Powell & DiMaggio, New Institutionalism 232. Especially useful is Friedland and Alford's (p. 243) definition of an institution as “simultaneously material and ideal, systems of signs and symbols, rational and transrational … supraorganizational patterns of human activity by which individuals and organizations produce and reproduce their material subsistence and organize time and space…. They are also symbolic systems, ways of ordering reality, and thereby rendering experience of time and space meaningful”.

17 Somers, , “The People and the Law” (cited in note 11); Somers, Margaret R., “Narrativity, Narrative Identity, and Social Action: Rethinking English Working-Class Formation,” 16 Soc. Sci. Hist. 591 (1992).

18 S. F. Moore, Law as Process (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978) (“Moore, Law as Process”); Mann, Sources of Social Power; M. G. Smith, “A Structural Approach to Comparative Politics,” in D. Easton, ed., Varieties of Political Theory (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966).

19 A. MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981).

20 Jurgen Habermas, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1989 [1962]).

21 My conception shares much with others' critiques of Habermas's term, especially on the inseparability of the family from a constituitive role in the public world, e.g., Nancy Fraser, Unruly Practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989) and on the centrality of conflict and negotiation among a wider notion of publics than in Habermas's bourgeois ideal, specifically including popular and working-class publics, e.g., Geoff Eley, “Nations, Publics, and Political Cultures: Placing Habermas in the Nineteenth Century,” in Calhoun, Habermas (cited in note 5); Calhoun, “Introduction” (cited in note 5).

22 Calhoun, Craig, “Community: Toward a Variable Conceptualization for Comparative Research,” 5 Soc. Hist. 105 (1990); Chatterjee, Partha, “A Response to Taylor's ‘Mode of Civil Society,’ 3 Pub. Culture 119 (1990); White, Identity and Control (cited in note 10)).

23 Rick Lempert suggested this useful point to me.

24 The epistemological implications of recent work in historical geography have been little noted by sociologists. Exceptions include Tilly, Big Structures (cited in note 2); Mann, Sources of Social Power ch. 1 (cited in note 15). On the importance of historical geography and social theory more generally, see Nicholas Entrikin, The Betweeness of Place: Towards a Geography of Modernity (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1991); and John A. Agnew & James Duncan, The Power of Place: Bringing Together Geographical and Sociological Imaginations (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989).

25 White, , Identity and Control ; White, Harrison C., Boorman, A., & Breiger, R., “Social Structure from Multiple Networks I,” 81 Am. J. Soc. 730 (1976); and id., “Social Structure from Multiple Networks 11,” 81 Am. J. Soc. 1265 (1976). For an application in historical sociology, see Peter Bearman, Relations into Rhetorics (forthcoming)).

26 Indeed so dichotomous is this false distinction that most communitarians do not even accept the concept of rights as ontologically consistent with their view of the self. For critiques of the view that rights-claims and community membership identities are fundamentally opposed, see especially M. WaLer, Spheres of Justice (New York: Basic Books, 1982); William H. Sewell, Jr., “Le citoyen/la citoyenne: Activity, Passivity, and the Revolutionary Concept of Citizenship,” in Colin Lucas, ed., The Political Culture of the French Revolution: vol. 2, The French Revolution and the Creation of Modem Political Culture (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987); Martha Minow, “Interpreting Rights: An Essay for Robert Cover,” 96 Yale L. Rev. 1860 (1987); S. Hall & D. Held, “Left and Rights,” Marxism Today, June 1989, at 16. For two especially valuable overviews of the rights debate, see Hendrik Hartog, “The Contitution of Aspiration and the ‘Rights that Belong to Us All,’” 74 J. Am. Hist. 1013 (Dec. 1987), and Mark Tushnet, “Rights: An Essay in Informal Political Theory,” 17 Politics & Soc'y 403 (1989).

27 Minow, , 96 Yale L.J., for a similar definition of rights to the one I am using here.

28 In Sources of Social Power, Mann addresses the ontological implications of these issues in his distinction between a “societal” versus a “social being.” See at 14–16.

29 Hartog, , 74 J. Am. Hist., for a similar conception of the contested character of American constitutional rights.

30 Iowerth Prothero, Artisans and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century London: John Gat and His Times (Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press, 1979) (“Prothero, Artisans and Politics”); P. Mantoux, The Industrial Revolution in the Eighteenth Century (rev. ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1955 [1928]); E. P. Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd,” 50 Past & Present 77 (1971); J. Rule, The Labouring Classes in Early Industrial England 1750–1850 (London: Longman, 1986); id., The E-e of Labour in Eighteenth-Century Industry (London: Croon Helm, 1981) (Rule, Experience of Labour); Polanyi, Great Transformation (cited in note 9).

31 Derek Hirst, The Representation of the People? Voters and Voting under the Early Stuarts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975); J. Plumb, “The Growth of the Electorate in England from 1600–1715,” 45 Past & Present 90 (1969); J. G. A. Pocock, “Varieties of Whiggism,” in his Virtue, Commerce, and History 215 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986) (“Pocock, Virtue”); F. O'Goman, “Campaign Ritual and Ceremonies: The Social Meaning of Elections in England, 1780–1860,” 135 Past & Present 79 (1992).

32 W. E. Minchinton, Wage Regulation in Pre-industrial England (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1972) (“Minchinton, Wage Regulation”). There are similar problems of periodization in the more elaborate comparative schema of Gaston Rimlinger in his Welfare Policy and Industralization in Europe, America and Russia (New York: Wiley, 1971). See also Asa Brigs, “The Welfare State in Historical Perspective,” in C. I. Shotland, ed., The Welfare State 25 (New York: Harper & Row, 1967).

33 For examples in the 18th century, see Rule, Experience of Labour; C. B. Dobson, Masters and Men (London: Croon Helm, 1980) (“Dobson, Masters and Men”); K. D. M. Snell, Annals of the Labouring Poor: Social Chunge in Agrarian England 1660–1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985); Roy Porter, English Society in the Eighteenth Century (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1982). For the 17th century see K. Wrightson, English Society, 1580–1680 (London: Hutchinson, 1982); Snell, Annuls of the Labouring Poor; and David Underdown, Revel, Riot and Rebellion: Popular Politics and Culture in England 1603–1660 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985). For the 16th century, see Buchanan Sharp, In Contempt of All Authority: Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586–1660 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982) (“Sharp, Contempt”). For the 15th and 14th centuries, see R. H. Tawney, “The Assessment of Wages in England by the Justices of the Peace” (“Tawney, ‘Assessment of Wages’”), in Minchinton, Wage Regulation 37 (cited in note 32); R. Webber, The Peasants' Revolt (Lavenham & Suffolk: Terrence Dalton Ltd., 1980); R. Dobson, The Peasants Revolt (2d ed. London: Macmillan, 1983); R. H. Hilton, Bond Men Made Free (London: Methuen & Co., 1973); T. H. Aston, ed., Landlords, Peasants and Politics in Medieval England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); R. H. Hilton, ed., Peasants, Knights, and Heretics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976).

34 Part of the problem with advocating continuity is that it invokes fears of either Whiggishness or conservative Burkeanism, the latter most recently illustrated in the work of J. D. C. Clark. It should be clear, however, in the course of this essay that stressing continuity over rupture is not a political choice but an analytic one that derives from an institutionalist conceptual framework—hardly one associated with either Whigs or Burkeans.

35 For a sampling of regional differences see Andrew Charlesworth, An Atlas of Rural Regional Protest (London: Croon Helm, 1983) (“Charlesworth, Atlas”); Derek Gregory, Regional Transformation and Industrial Revolution (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982); Sharp, Contempt (cited in note 33); Larry Poos, “The Social Context of the Statute of Labourers' Enforcement,” 1 Law & Hist. Rev. 27 (Spring 1983); John Bohstedt, Riots and Community Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983) (“Bohstedt, Riots and Community Politics”).

36 Although the phenomena of wide spread rural industrialization in the 17th and 18th centuries has long been noted among certain economic historians, the new and more theoretically informed notion of proto-industry is a recent development. See Franklin Mendels, “Proto-Industrialization: The First Phase of the Industralization Process,” 32 J. Econ. Hist. 241 (1972); Charles Tilly, “Flows of Capital and Forms of Industry in Europe, 1500–1900,” 12 Theory B Soc'y 123 (1983); Peter Kreidte, Hans Medick, & J. Schlumbohm, Industrialization before Industrialization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982); Rudolf Braun, “Early Industralization and Demographic Change in the Canton of Zurich,” in Charles Tilly, ed., Historical Studies of Changing Fertility 289 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978); Rudolf Braun, “The Impact of Cottage Industry on an Agricultural Population,” in David Landes, ed., The Rise of Capitalism (New York: Macmillan, 1966).

37 On artisanal politics from the 14th to the 19th centuries, see especially R. A. Leeson, Travelling Brothers (London: Granada, 1980) (“Leeson, Travelling Brothers”); also Dobson, Masters and Men; Rule, Experience of Labour; Prothero, Artisans and Politics (cited in note 30). For comparisons with French artisans, see especially Michael Sonenscher, “Mythical Work: Workshop Production and the Compagnonnages of Eighteenth-Century France,” in P. Joyce ed., The Historiical Meanings of Work 31 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Sonenscher. “The Sans-culottes of the Year II: Rethinking the Language of Labour in Revolutionary France,” 9 Soc. Hist. 301 (1984); id., “Journeymen: The Courts and the French Trades, 1781–1791,” 114 Past & Present 77 (1987); William H. Sewell, Jr., Work and Revolution in France: The Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848, passim (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980) (“Sewell, Work and Revolution”); Joan W. Scott, “Work Identities for Men and Women: The Politics of Work and Family in the Parisian Garment Trades in 1848,” in Gender and the Politics of History 93 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988); Jacques Ranciere, “The Myth of the Artisan,” in Steven Kaplan & Cynthia Koepp, eds., Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization, and Practice 317 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1986). For comparisons of French rural-industrial and artisanal workers in the 18th and 19th centuries, see especially William H. Sewell, Jr., “Artisans, Factory Workers and the Formation of the French Working Class, 1789–1848,” in Ira Katznelson & Aristide Zolberg, eds., Working-Class Formation: A Comparative Study of France, Germany and the United States 45 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986).

38 See Somers, “The People and the Law” ch. 6 (cited in note 11), for full discussion of these differences.

39 See W. O. Ault, Open-Field Fanning in Medieval England: A Study of Village By-Laws (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1972) (“Ault, Open-Field Farming”); Charles M. Gray, Copyhold, Equity, and the Common Law (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1963) (“Gray, Copyhold”); Steven Yeazell, From Medieval Group Litigation to the Modem Class Action 46, 132 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987) (“Yeazell, Medieval Group Litigation”).

40 Rick Lempert has pointed out correctly that these questions can be sensibly posed as a sociology of knowledge question: Why do we ignore certain rights and not others in our theories of modern citizenship? The answer, in part, is that theories of citizenship are embedded within a prevailing sociolegal knowledge culture (similar to Kuhn's paradigm) constituted by a master-narrative about modern law and institutions which largely defines in advance what is to count as a modem right in the first place. The importance of this sociolegal knowledge culture is taken up in the conclusion at greater length. See also Somers, “Where is Social Theory?” (cited in note 14).

41 For additional recent reformulations, see Tilly, “Where Do Rights Come from?”; Tilly, Coercion; Brubaker, Citizenship and Nationhood (all cited in note 2).

42 Reynolds, Fiefs (cited in note 12).

43 In Fiefs, Susan Reynolds brings a formidable challenge to our traditional use of vassalage to describe a central mechanism of the European medieval world.

44 Somers, “The People and the Law” ch. 2 (cited in note 14); George Homans, Sentiments and Activities (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1962) (“Homans, Sentiments ad Activities”); F. Pollock & F. Maitland, 1 The History of the English Law before the Time of Edward I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968) (“Pollock & Maitland, History of English Law”); Paul Vinogradoff, Villianage in Englnnd: Essays in English Medical History (New York: Russell & Russell, 1923); id., English Society in the Eleventh Century: Essays in English Medieval History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908); Gray, Copyhold (cited in note 39); Sidney Webb & Beatrice Webb, The Manos ad the Borough, 2 vols. (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1963); Ault, Op-Field Farming (cited in note 39); P. Gatrell, “Studies in Medieval English Society in a Russian Context,” 96 Past & Present 23 (1982); J. W. Burrow, “‘The Village Community’ and the Uses of History in Late Nineteenth-Century England,” in N. McKendrick, ed., Historical Perspectives: Studies in English Thought and Society 255 (London: Europa, 1974).

45 Homans, Sentiments and Activites; George Homans, “The Explanation of English Regional Differences,” 42 Past & Present 29 (1969); Joan Thirsk, “The Farming Regions of England,” in Joan Thirsk, ed., 4 The Agrarian History of England and Wales 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967); Thirsk, “Industries in the Countryside,” in F. J. Fisher, ed., Essays in the Economic and Social History of Tudor and Stuart England 70 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961); H. E. Hallam, Rural England, 1066–1348 (Brighton, Sussex: Harvester Press, 1981); R. Dodgshon, “The Early Middle Ages, 1066–1350,” in R. A. Dodgshon & R. Butlin, eds., An Historical Geography of England and Wales 81 (London: Academic Press, 1978); E. Power, The Wool Trade in English Medieval History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1942).

46 On guilds and towns, see Sylvia Thrupp, “The Guilds” (“Thrupp, ‘The Guilds’”), in M. M. Postan, E. E. Rich, & Edward Miller, eds., The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: vol. 3, Economic Organization and Policies in the Middle Ages 230 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963) (“Postan et al., Cambridge Economic History of Europe”); Lujo Brentano, “On the History and Development of Guilds and the Origin of Trade-Unions” (“Brentano, ‘History and Development of Guilds’”), in Toulmin Smith, ed., English Gilds xlix (London: Oxford University Press, 1963) (“Smith, English Gilds”); Philip Abrams & E. A. Wrigley, eds., Towns in Societies: Essays in Economic History and Historical Sociology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977); E. A. Wrigley, People, Cities and Wealth (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987); Susan Reynolds, An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977) (“Reynolds, Introduction to Medieval Towns”); P. Corfield, “Urban Development in England and Wales in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” in D. C. Coleman & H. H. Johns, eds., Trade, Government, and Economy in Pre-Industrial England 214 (London: Weidenfeld, 1976); Anthony Black, Guilds and Civil Society in European Political Thought from the Twelfth Century to the Present (London: Methuen & Co. 1984) (“Black, Guilds and Civil Society”); Steve Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds: Structures of Life in Sixteenth-Century London (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) (Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds); id., “The Extent and Foundations of Companies' Powers in Sixteenth-Century London” (presented at Social Science History Association Meetings, Chicago, 1988); Laurie Nussdorfer, “Urban Politics and the Guilds in Early Modem Europe: Guilds and Government in Baroque Rome” (presented at the Social Science History Association, Chicago, 1988); Gail Bossenga, “Regulating the Local Economy: Guilds and the Town Council in Eighteenth-Century Lille” (presented at the Social Science History Association, Chicago, 1988); Pamela Nightengale, “Capitalists, Crafts and Constitutional Change in Late Fourteenth-Century London,” 124 Past & Present 3 (Aug. 1989); L. Attreed, “Arbitration and the Growth of Urban Liberties in Late Medieval England,” 31 J. Brit. Stud. 205 (1992).

47 The capacity for its “precociousness” in centralized administrative methods has been made legendary through the remarkable findings of the Domesday Books.

48 No one has done more for us to come to appreciate the centrality of war to state formation than Charles Tilly. See especially his Coercion (cited in note 2).

49 Pollock & Maitland, History of the English Law; P. Corrigan & D. Sayer, The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1985); Joseph Strayer, On the Medieval Origins of the Modem State (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970) (“Strayer, Medieval Origins of Modem State”); P. Anderson, Lineages of the Absolutist State (London: New Left Books, 1974) (“Anderson, Lineages of Absolutist State”); Derek Sayer, “A Notable Administration: English State Formation and the Rise of Capitalism,” 97 Am. J. Soc. 1382 (1992); W. Bagehot, The English Constitution, ed, R. Crossman (London: Fontana, 1965).

50 Gabriel Ardant, “Financial Policy and Economic Infrastructure of Modem States and Nations,” in Charles Tilly, ed., The Formation of National States in Western Europe 164 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975) (“Tilly, Formation”).

51 For various historical approaches to the concept of “the people,” see C. Hill, “Parliament and People in Seventeenth Century England,” 142 Past & Present 100 (1981); D. T. Rogers, Contested Truths: Keywords in American Politics Since Independence (New York: Basic Books, 1987); Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976); Prothero, Artisans and Politics 59 (cited in note 30).

52 Cited in note 14.

53 Tilly in Coercion 106, 115 (cited in note 2). deals with the necessities of national homogenization.

54 Id. at 130.

55 This interesting question was raised by an anonymous LSI referee.

56 Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds.

57 J. G. A. Pocock, “Authority and Property: The Question of Liberal Origins” and “The Mobility of Property and the Rise of Eighteenth-Century Sociology” in his Virtue 51 (cited in note 31); James Tully, A Discourse on Property: John Lock and his Adversaries (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980); Richard Tuck, Natural Rights Theories: Their Origin and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). An extremely interesting recent discussion is Ian Shapiro, “Resources, Capacities and Ownership: The Workmanship Ideal and Distributive Justice,” in John Brewer & S. Staves, eds., Early Modern Conceptions of Property (Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming). See also Susan Reynold's discussion of property in her “Fiefs, Vassals, and Feudalism” (cited in note 12); and Margaret R. Somers, “‘Misteries’ of Property: Relationality, Families, and Community in the Making of Political Rights,” in Brewer & Staves, Early Modem Conceptions of Property.

58 J. H. Baker, An Introduction to English Legal History (2d ed. London: Butterworths, 1983); G. R. Elton, The Tudor Constitution: Documents and Commentary (2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982 [1960]) (“Elton, Tudor Constitution”); Frederick Maitland, The Constitutional History of England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979 [1908]); W. Fischer & P. Lundgreen, “The Recruitment and Training of Administrative and Technical Personnel,” in Tilly, Formation 456 (cited in note 50). All were under the control of the King's Privy Council and served as alternative educational arenas to the common law courts for statesmen and civil servants.

59 Cited in Donald Hansen, From Kingdom to Commonwealth: The Development of Civic Consciousness in English Political Thought 157 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970) (“Hansen, From Kingdom to Commonwealth”).

60 Id.

61 Elton, , Tudor Constitution 152.

62 For examples of equity in copyholding, see Gray, Copyhold (cited in note 39).

63 E. Kantorowitz, The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1957); Hansen, From Kingdom to Commonwealth.

64 Alan Harding, A Social History of English Low (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1966); Howard Nenner, By Colour of law: Legal Culture and Constitutional Politics in England, 1660–1689 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980) (“Nenner, Colour of Law”).

65 Nenner, Colour of Law.

66 John Ganden, “A Sermon Preached before the Judges at Chemeford,” cited in John Walter, “The Essex Grain Rioters,” in John Brewer & John Styles, An Ungovernable People 47 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1980) (“Brewer & Styles, Ungovernable People?”).

67 Brewer, John, “The Wilkesites and the Law, 1763–74: A Study of Radical Notions of Governance,” in Brewer, & Styles, , Ungouemabk People 133.

68 Id.

69 Noticeably absent from my argument is discussion of the king's peace or the criminal law—arguably the dimensions of royal law that most ordinary people were confronted with daily. There is a wealth of literature and debate on the social history of the criminal law (see, e.g., the vast debate surrounding Douglas Hay's edited volume, Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth-century England (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975), and E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act (New York: Pantheon, 1975)) (“Thompson, Whigs and Hunters”). Less attention has been paid these other aspects of law that I argue were so central to the formation of citizenship identities.

70 The next few paragraphs draw from Somers, 58 Am. Soc. Rev. (cited in note 7).

71 In France, by contrast, the community was excluded. See Bruce Lenman & Geoffrey Parker, “The State, the Community, and the Criminal Law in Early Modem Europe,” in V. A. C. Gatrell et al., eds., Crime and the Law 11 (London: Europa, 1980) (“Lenman & Parker, ‘The State’”).

72 Whereas the French state sold and controlled over 12,000 judiciary jobs throughout the land churning out a massive army of central bureaucrats who tried (but failed) to swallow up local community practices, in England in the 16th century there were only 15 Royal judges; see Lenman & Parker, “The State”.

73 Strayer, Medieval Origins of Modern State 41 (cited in note 49); see also Pollock & Maitland, History of English Law 79, 136 (cited in note 44); William S. Holdsworth, 1 A History of English Law (2d ed. London: Methuen & Co., 1914); T. Plucknett, A Concise History of the Common Law (5th ed. Boston: Little, Brown, 1956).

74 See especially Thomas A. Green, Verdict according to Conscience (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1955) (“Green, Verdict”); Thomas A. Green & J. S. Cockburn, eds., Twelve Good Men and True: The Criminal Trial Jury in England, 1200–1800 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988) (“Green & Cockburn, Twelve Good Men and True”); O'Gorman, 135 Past Past & Present (cited in note 31); Cynthia Herrup, “The Counties and the Country: Some Thoughts on Seventeenth-Century Historiography,” 8 Soc. Hist. 169 (1983); id., The Common Peace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) (“Herrup, The Common Peace”).

75 This approach dovetails with the recent scholarship of Green, Verdict; Hemp, The Common Peace; John Beattie, Crime and the Courts in England: 1660–1800 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986); Brewer & Styles, Ungovernable People? (cited in note 66); Cynthia Herrup, “Law and Morality in Seventeenth-Century England,” 106 Past & Present 102 (1985).

76 Herrup, , 8 Soc. Hist.

77 See Minchinton, Wage Regulation (cited in note 32).

78 Tawney, “Assessment of Wages” (cited in note 33); Dobson, Masters and Men (cited in note 33); Margaret Davies, The Enforcement of English Apprenticeship, 1563–1642: A Study in English Mercantilism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956); Bertha Putnam, “Justices of Labour in the 14th Century,” 21 Eng. Hist. Rev. (1906); B. Putnam, The Enforcement of the Statute of Labourers during the First Decade after the Black Death, 1349–1359 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1908).

79 The classic text on customary rights of peasants in the manorial courts is still George Homans, English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century (New York: Norton, 1960 [1940]).

80 Ault, , Open-Field Farming; Gray, Copyhold; Yeazell, Medieval Group Litigation 46, 132 (all cited in note 39).

81 Williams, Dale, “Morals, Markets, and the English Crowd in 1766,” 104 Past & Present 56 (1984).

82 The import of the “law in context” was originally developed in the early 20th-century American school of Legal Realism; see Laura Kalman, Legal Realism at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1987). More recently, the contextual focus has been taken up by anthropologists; see Clifford Geertz, “Local Knowledge: Fact and Law in Comparative Perspective,” in his Local Knowledge 167 (New York: Basic Books, 1983); and Moore, Law as Process (cited in note 18).

83 The phrase comes from Perez Zagorin.

84 From a vast comparative perspective Weber argues this in Max Weber, The City, trans. & ed. D. Martindale & G. Newsmith (New York: Free Press, 1958) (“Weber, The City”).

85 Alan Harding, “Political Liberty in the Middle Ages,” 55 Speculum 427, 442 (1980); Smith, English Gilds (cited in note 46); M. Bloch, 1 Feudal Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1961); Black, Guilds and Civil Society 39, 42 (cited in note 46).

86 Nor was the city the only place; see Somers, “The People and the Law,” passim (cited in note 11).

87 The liberal versus communitarian polarization can be seen as more of a philosophical prejudice than a historical one.

88 On the process of transition from corporate to individual liberty, see Harding, 55 Speculum at 442.

89 On Italian cities, see Lauro Martines, Power and Imagination: City-states in Renaissance Italy (New York: Knopf, 1979). See also the work of Larry Miller, “Machiavelli's Politics” (unpublished ms.), who has written on the historical conditions in which Macchiavelli formulated his political theories.

90 I am grateful to Larry Miller for his suggestions on this aspect of feudal “inspiration” for the expansion of rights to the urban sphere.

91 G. A. Williams, Medieval London: From Commune to Capital 2 (London: Athlone Press, 1963) (“Williams, Medieval London”).

92 The merchant guild preceded the crafts guild, but the latter (composed of masters and journeymen) became far more important.

93 See note 29.

94 Rappaport, , Worlds within Worlds 31 (cited in note 46).

95 Williams, , Medieval London 282.

96 Rappaport, , Worlds within Worlds 49.

97 Sources on guild membership and citizenship include Reynolds, Introduction to Medieval Towns chs. 5, 6, 8 (cited in note 46); Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds 53; Thrupp, “The Guilds” (cited in note 44); Black, Guilds and Civil Society (cited in note 46); Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition 359 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983) (“Berman, Law and Revolution”).

98 R. B. Dobson, “Admissions to the Freedom of the City of York in the Later Middle Ages,” 26 Econ. Hist. Rev. 15 (1973); D. M. Palliser, The Age of Elizabeth: England under the Later Tudors, 1547–1603, at 220 (London: Longman, 1983).

99 On apprenticeship, see especially E. Lipson, 1 Economic History of England: vol. 1, The Middle Ages ch. 8 (London: A. & C. Black, Ltd., 1920).

100 Smith, Lucy, “Introduction,” in Smith, , Gilds, English; Leeson, , Traveling Brothers 27 (cited in note 37). On oaths and obligations, see Prothero, , Artisans and Politics 37 (cited in note 30); Thrupp, , “The Gilds” 184, 232 (cited in note 44); Hibbert, A. B., “The Economic Policies of Towns” (“Hibbert, ‘Economic Policies’”), in Postan, et al., Cambridge Economic History of Europe 157, 210 (cited in note 46); Leeson, , Travelling Brothers, passim (cited in note 37).

101 Tramping, one of the most important forms of labor migration, was contained within social membership networks; see Leeson, Travelling Brothers.

102 10 Oxford English Dictionary 815 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933). In ancient Greece, the craftsmen were, like priests and doctors, believed to possess some secret power; see M. Godelier, “Work and its Representations: A Research Proposal,” 10 Hist. Work-shop J. (1980).

103 Oxford English Dictionary 815; Brentano, Lujo, “History and Development of Gilds” at cxxxii (cited in note 46). For various references to “mystery,”“mistery,”“misterium,”“mis-terium artis,” or “mestera, misteria, from ministerium,” as the collective body of the craft guild (rather than the skill itself) see Hibbert, , “Economic Policies” at 210 Berman, Law and Revolution 391; Reynolds, , Introduction to Medieval Towns 165 (cited in note 46); Black, Guilds and Civil Society 14 (cited in note 46); Leeson, Travelling Brothers 26.

104 On illegal shops as unapprenticed ones, see E. Lipson, 2 An Introduction to the Economic History of England 41 (London: A. & C. Black, 1931).

105 On the legal rights of individuals, see Helen Jewell, English Local Administration in the Middle Ages 53 (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1972); Weber, The City 91 (cited in note 84); Berman, Law and Revolution 360, 381, 386, 396, 401; Carl Stephenson, Borough and Town: A Study of Urban Origins in England 143 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1933); Black, Guilds and Civil Society 34, 38, 40; Rappaport, Worlds within Worlds 35 (cited in note 46).

106 C. Adams-Phythian, “Ceremony and the Citizen: The Communal Year at Coventry 1450–1550,” in P. Clark, ed., The Early Modem Town 106 (London: Longman, 1976).

107 Berman, , Law and Revolution 391 (cited in note 97).

108 Rappaport, , Worlds within Worlds 29.

109 On social justice as mutual aid, economic regulations and monopoly, see A. Unwin, Industrial Organization in the Sixteenth ad Seventeenth Centuries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1904); Black, Guilds and Civil Society ch. 2; Berman, Law and Revolution 391; Hibbert, “Economic Policies” at 159, 202, 206 (cited in note 100).

110 Rappaport, , Worlds within Worlds 45.

111 For the strongest evidence on this point, see Black, Guilds and Civil Society (cited in note 46); see also the numerous guild documents collected in Smith, English Gilds (cited in note 46).

112 G. Unwin, The Gilds and Companies of London 70 (4th ed. London: Methuen, 1963 [1908]).

113 See, e.g., Peter Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, & Theda Skocpol, eds., Bringing the State Back in (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).

114 Social historians have been far more attentive to this. See E. P. Thompson, Whigs and Hunters (cited in note 69); Brewer & Styles, Ungovernable People? (cited in note 66). For discussion on these and other approaches to the law, see Green, Verdict (cited in note 74); Stone, “The Law,” in his The Past and the Present 189 (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981); Green & Cockbum, Twlve Good Men and True (cited in note 74).

115 See especially Karl Polanyi, The Livelihood of Man (New York: Academic Press, 1977).

116 See A. Hirschman, Rival Views of Market Society and Other Recent Essays (New York: Viking, 1986); id., “Against Parsimony,” American Economic Papers and Proceedings 89 (1984); Polanyi, Great Transformation (cited in note 9); M. Granovetter, “Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness,” 91 Am. J. Soc. 481 (1985); Fred Block, Post-industrial Possibilities: A Critique of Economic Discourse (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989); Richard Swedberg, “Economic Sociology,” 35 Current Soc. 1 (1987); Margaret R. Somers, “The Political Culture Concept: The Empirical Power of Conceptual Transformation” (presented at the American Sociological Association Meetings, 1991); id., “Karl Polanyi's Intellectual Legacy,” in Kari Polanyi-Levitt, ed., The Life and Work of Karl Polanyi 152 (Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1991); F. Block & Margaret R. Somers, “Beyond the Economic Fallacy: The Holistic Social Science of Karl Polanyi,” in T. Skocpol, ed., Vision and Method in Historical Sociology 47 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984); D. Bell, “Models and Reality in Economic Discourse” in D. Bell & I. Kristol, eds., The Crisis in Economic Theory 46 (New York: Basic Books, 1981); M. Sahlins, Culture and Practical Reason (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976); Donald N. McCloskey, The Rhetoric of Economics (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985); Sewell, Work and Revolution 10 (cited in note 37). See Viviana Zelizar, “Beyond the Polemics of the Market: Establishing a Theoretical Agenda,” 3 Soc. F. 614 (1988).

117 See Margaret R. Somers, “Workers of the World, Compare!” 18 (3) Contemp. Soc. (May 1989); id. “Where Is Social Theory?” (cited in note 14); id., 16 Soc. Sci. Hist. (cited in note 17); C. Sabel, “Protoindustry and the Problem of Capitalism as a Concept: Response to Jean H. Quartaert,” 33 Int'l Labor & Working-class Hist. 30 (1988). Although relatively neglected by social theorists, Daniel Bell made a version of this epistemological argument years ago in his formulation of the differentiation of spheres between culture, politics, and economy; see his Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 1974).

118 Robert Brenner and Perry Anderson use these terms. See R. Brenner, “Capitalism, Aristocracy and the English Revolution,” Davis Center Paper (Fall 1989); Anderson, Lineages of Absolutist State (cited in note 49).

119 On the foundational role of 19th-century social thought, see especially Tilly, Big Structures (cited in note 15).

120 Charles Tilly in Big Structures addresses the reasons for this perseverance, as does Michael Mann in his Sources of Social Power ch. 1 (cited in note 15).

121 Were its ritual practices of solidaristic inclusion and exclusion through the property and rituals of apprenticeship, for example, more or less modem, or more or less traditional, than, say, the rituals, rites, and certificates involved in graduate training toward the Ph.D?.

122 For 3 discussion of knowledge cultures see Somers, “Where Is Social Theory?” (cited in note 14).

123 Gordon, Robert W., “Critical Legal Histories,” 36 Stan. L. Rev. 57 (1984) and his “The Past as Authority and as Social Critic: Stabilizing and Destabilizing Functions of History in Legal Argument,”in McDonald, Historic Turn (cited in note 14).

124 Sewell, William H. Jr., “Three Temporalities: Toward a Sociology of the Event,” in McDonald, , Historic Turn; Peter Abell. “Rational Equitarian Democracy, Minimax Class and the Future of Capitalist Society: A Sketch towards a Theory,” 21 Sociology 567 (1987); Abbott, Andrew, “From Causes to Events: Notes on Narrative Positivism,” 20 Soc. Methods & Res. 428 (1992); Aminzade, Ronald, “Historical Sociology and Time,” 20 Soc. Methods & Res. 456 (1992); Quadagno, Jill & Knapp, S., “Have Historical Sociologists Forsaken Theory? Thoughts on the History/Theory Relationship,” 20 Soc. Methods & Res. 481 (1992); Somers, , “Where Is Social Theory?” and ‘“We're No Angels’: History and Science, Networks and Narratives in Sociological Analysis” (unpublished, 1993); Stark, David, “Path Dependence and Privatization Strategies in East Central Europe,” 6 (1) East Eur. Politics & Societies 17 (Winter 1992).

For their involvement in various aspects of the making and meaning of this article, the author thanks Julia Adams, Daniel Bell, Fred Block, Kacey Christiansen, Frank Dobbin, Gloria Gibson, Thomas Green, Richard Lempert, Larry Miller, Jane Rafferty, Bill Sewell, Marc Steinberg, Arthur Stinchcombe, Charles Tilly, Harrison White and the anonymous Law and Social Inquiry referees. For generous support during much of the period during which this research was carried out, she thanks the University of Michigan for Rackham Faculty Recognition, Rackham Faculty Support, Rackham Research Partnership, LSA College Faculty Assistance, and Office of the Vice-president for Research Grants.

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