Book Series Studies in European Urban History (1100-1800), vol. 22

De Bono Communi. The Discourse and Practice of the Common Good in the European City (13th-16th c.)

Discours et pratique du Bien Commun dans les villes d’Europe (XIIIe au XVIe siècle)

Élodie Lecuppre-Desjardin, Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (eds)

  • Pages: vi + 290 p.
  • Size:178 x 254 mm
  • Illustrations:1 b/w
  • Language(s):English, French
  • Publication Year:2010

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-52998-1
  • Paperback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53879-2
  • E-book
  • Available


«Pour la première fois, ce beau volume permet une comparaison très large, qui permet de dépasser les généralités pour montrer que le Bien Commun n’est pas utilisé dans et par les villes avec la même fréquence ni de la même façon partout.» (Olivier Richard, dans le Moyen Age, 3-4, 2015, p. 880)


Traditionally confined to the sphere of the State and of auctoritas, the phrase the “Common Good” is set to conquer the cities in the late Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Early Modern period. But can we compare a kingdom like France where the cities defend their “Common Good” by making reference to the interest and benefit of the Kingdom with principalities like Flanders where, despite their fierce desire for autonomy, the cities use the notion with much greater reservation than their Italian counterparts? This volume traces the intellectual and theoretical roots that have led to the emergence of the notion of the “Common Good” in the urban world of Western Europe by analysing the practical forms of its manifestations.


Elodie Lecuppre-Desjardin teaches at the University of Lille 3 (IRHiS). Her research interests cover political thought and urban identity in the Burgundian Low Countries.


Anne-Laure Van Bruaene teaches at the University of Ghent. Her main field of interest is urban culture in the late medieval and early modern Low Countries.