Subproject A01 — Hostages in the Early Modern Period
third funding stage (2022-2025)
Subproject A01 examines the Early Modern exchange of hostages as a form of contractual security that oscillated between exceptionality and routine in the context of the French Wars of Religion and the French Revolution. The subproject is thus based on a specific perspective regarding questions of contractual security, as hostages served as a mean of safeguarding treaties when these were called into question by the lack of contractual fidelity on the part of the contracting parties or ascriptions of a lack of trust. The respective situational definition of insecurity thus assumed that the principle of "pacta sunt servanda" seemed threatened and that a treaty required special security. Thus, hostages played an ambivalent role as heuristics and repertoires of securitization processes: As a repertoire they aimed at establishing security for contractual arrangements and against potential breaches of contract, but as a heuristic they communicated precisely this possibility and thus marked the uncertainty of contracts. In the third funding phase, these processes of securitization will be analyzed for civil war situations by examining hostage situations in the French Wars of Religion as well as the revolutionary "loi des ôtages" of 1799.