In contrast with the rather violent and unstable period between the collapse of the Roman Empire and the rise of Plantagenet monarchy, the earliest phase of England’s market economy coincided with a remarkable attenuation of brutal interpersonal violence. While, for some, this diminution of aggression is indicative of a ‘civilizing process’, this paper sets out to advance our theorization of the shift from physically violent to pacified socioeconomic competition in England and Western Europe between the late fourteenth century and the mid-twentieth century. In this pursuit we draw upon the more critical theory of the ‘pseudo-pacification process’ to explain how physical violence was sublimated and harnessed to drive the nascent market economy, which established and reproduced an economically productive condition of pseudo-pacified ‘orderly disorder’.
|Journal on European History of Law
|Published - 2015