Prof. Dr. Florian Hartmann, Aachen;
Prof. Roberto Lambertini, Macerata
In the face of growing populism, assertive autocracies and the challenges of a liberal democracy, a new relevance of consensus theories can be perceived. It is therefore worthwhile to examine the concrete manifestations of consensus - and thus also of dissent - in the past in order to contribute to the understanding of our present. The Middle Ages, an epoch in which various forms of expressing consensus or dissent were recognised, is a particularly instructive example because the idea of legitimisation through consensus was not unfamiliar to the High and Late Middle Ages. Against our modern commonplace that the Middle Ages were driven by the idea of the divine right, research has been able to show that several political theories attributed an important role to the consensus between the ruler and the elite. The conference at the Villa Vigoni Talks aims to shed new light on these aspects.