Petitions and Petitioning in Europe and North America: From the Late Medieval Period to the Present

Richard Huzzey (Editor), Maartje Janse (Editor), Henry Miller* (Editor), Joris Oddens (Editor), Brodie Waddell (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Throughout history, across very different types of state and society, petitions and petitioning have been ubiquitous practices. The interaction between petitioners and authority has been a crucial dynamic in exercising and contesting power. Consolidating and advancing a rapidly expanding field of research across history, law, and the social sciences, this book is the first study of these venerable practices from their development in the late medieval period to the emergence of e-petitions in the twenty-first century. With a broad focus on Europe and North America, this volume breaks new ground by examining the concept, history, and practice of petitions and petitioning across chronological and geographical boundaries, opening up this important topic to a wider audience across the humanities and social sciences. Organised in three parts, the first section defines petitions with greater clarity than before. The second section examines cycles of continuity and transformation over long periods of time, while the final section zooms into to analyse examples that reveal why petitions and petitioning have mattered for both petitioners and authority. The chapters emphasise why petitionary practices have been crucial forms of collective action and representation, and a ubiquitous presence in political culture, both past and present.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press/ British Academy
Number of pages352
ISBN (Print)9780197267721
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2024

Publication series

NameProceedings of the British Academy
PublisherOxford University Press/ British Academy

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