The Conclusion places the book’s findings on urban political conflict in late medieval cities in the context of two major historical paradigms. First, interpretations of state formation, often crucially associated with the later Middle Ages, should more firmly take into account the central place of conflict in urban political systems. Cities often remained a challenge to rulers because of their complexity and high levels of conflict: this was especially the case in the densely urbanized regions of Northern and Central Italy and the Southern Low Countries, but urban systems of conflict also contributed to large-scale conflicts in other parts of Europe. Second, medieval European cities also merit reconsideration in the context of world history: often seen as uniquely cohesive and autonomous associations, the elevated levels of conflict and fragmentation in European cities actually made them more similar to other contemporary cities in Japan, China, and the Near East.
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