Managing Markets: Commercial Institutions in the Principalities of the Burgundian-Habsburg Low Countries Compared

  • Lambert, Bart (Administrative Promotor)
  • Sicking, Louis (Co-Promotor)

Project Details


Addressing a fundamental gap in the historiography, this project offers the first large-scale comparative study of the role of institutions in international trade during the later Middle ages and the early modern period. It focuses on the Low Countries, an area which, throughout this period, was heavily commercialised and attracted merchants and goods from all corners of Europe and the then-known world. Two PhD students will compare the organisation of long- distance trade in six principalities and their main trading cities, covering both the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries and periods of economic ascendancy and decline. The project bridges the divide between present-day Belgium and the Netherlands and between
what is known in traditional historiography as the core and the more peripheral regions of the Burgundian and Habsburg Low Countries. It further advances existing scholarship by looking explicitly for collaboration and coordination, rather than opposition, between central governments, urban authorities and others involved in the organisation of trade and by also considering the wider, non- institutional context of market development. The result will be a greatly enhanced understanding of what made international trade tick in one of the most commercially dynamic areas of fifteenth and sixteenth-century Europe
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/23

Flemish discipline codes

  • Early modern history
  • European history
  • Medieval history
  • Political history


  • markets
  • institutions
  • Low Countries