The Figuerola Prize 2007 for the best paper published in 'European Review of Economic History' 2005-2006 was awarded to Jan Luiten van Zanden (IISH) and Maarten Prak (Utrecht University) for their article "Towards an economic interpretation of citizenship: The Dutch Republic between medieval communes and modern nation-states"
The Figuerola Prize is funded by Instituto Figuerola of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Abstract of the article
Citizenship was a key concept in European state formation from the Middle Ages onwards. This article presents an economic interpretation of citizenship. It argues that such a contract increases the efficiency of the exchange between the state and its inhabitants. Next, the concept of citizenship is applied to the political economy of the Dutch Republic, which was an ‘intermediate’ stage in the process of state formation between the medieval commune (with a restricted form of citizenship) and the nation-state of the nineteenth century, when the concept became more inclusive, covering all inhabitants. The article briefly sketches the genesis of the Dutch Republic and identifies some of the key problems of its political economy.