Power requires others: "institutional realities" and the significance if individual power in Late Prehistoric Europe

Abstract

This paper argues that most applications of political economies risk focusing too one-sidedly on individual power. However, political economies are also about collectively accepted notions on order, symbols and positions that can only exist by virtue of them being socially recognized (Searle 1995). Two examples from Europe's deep past are used to illustrate this. The first is on the role of 'commons' in Bronze Age and Iron Age landscape use. The second is on how collective conventions shape elite burials from the Early Iron Age. Both demonstrate that, in a way, 'power' may come 'from below' (cf. Searle 1995)NWO277-60-001European Prehistor

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