This article reviews six essay collections and one monograph on late medieval and early modern political culture in the Holy Roman Empire. Following a general survey of historiographical trends and a discussion of the specific contributions of the works under review (covering topics from international relations, state formation and the role of language to representative assemblies and the exercise of power in towns and villages), it attempts a preliminary sketch of the basic parameters of pre-modern politics. Prominent insights include shifts in the balance between oral, ritual and written communication, the significance of informal bonds and the negotiated quality of developments at all levels of government. The conclusion assesses the potential of the ‘new’ political history and calls for renewed efforts to link discourses, representations and perceptions to the norms, structures and socio-economic conditions with which they interacted. \ud \u
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