Marin and Rivoal, Surveillance in early modern cities: comparative reflections on the role of popular actors

20 May 2019, 17:15 to 20 May 2019, 19:15
IHR Past and Present Room, N202, Second Floor, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Brigitte Marin (Aix-Marseille University), Solène Rivoal (Aix-Marseilles University and Birkbeck University of London)

How were people integrated into state-controlled policing in early modern cities, when several police services were dispersed in urban territories? The aim of this seminar session is to reflect on the participation of people from the lower social groups in the surveillance of city-dwellers. Historiography has been interested in the major reforms of policing at the end of the 18th century. In this changing context, we would like to understand the place of these subordinate agents, questioning their relationships with the population, with professional bodies and the justice apparatus. Naples and Venice will provide two areas for comparison to reflect on the diversity of these agents, who had close positions to the inhabitants, on their evolution at the end of the Old Regime, and on the way they fit into local urban networks.

Police guard in the port of Marseille: detail from Joseph Vernet, Intérieur du port de Marseille vu du Pavillon de l’horloge du Parc, 1754, Musée national de la Marine, Paris.