Maarten Prak’s Citizens without Nations and the Legal History of Spain


  • Tamar Herzog



spain, latin america, citizenship


This text summarizes some of the findings regarding municipal citizenship (vecindad) and membership in the kingdom community (naturaleza) in Spain from the middle ages to the twentieth century and compares and contrasts them with the conclusions reached by Maarten Prak. Basically agreeing with his main discoveries, it nonetheless argues that in Spain, at least, many of the features described by Prak did not disappear in the aftermaths of the French Revolution but instead persisted into the nineteenth and the twentieth century. Furthermore, this text also advocates for the importance of law. It suggests that bringing in the law would have facilitated both the description and the understanding of many of the very interesting phenomenon described by the author.



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Author Biography

Tamar Herzog

Tamar Herzog (, who is the Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs at Harvard and an affiliated faculty member at the Harvard Law School, received her Ph.D. at the EHESS in Paris in 1994. She is the author of A Short History of European Law: The Last Two and  a Half Millennia (2018, available also in Spanish and Mandarin), Frontiers of Possession: Spain and Portugal in Europe and the Americas (2015, available also in Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian), Upholding Justice: State, Law and the Penal System in Quito (2004, available also in French and Spanish) Defining Nations: Immigrants and Citizens in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America (2003, available also in Spanish and French), Ritos de control, prácticas de negociación (2000, available also in French) and Mediación, archivos y ejercicio (1996). She is the author of over 100 articles and book chapters published in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, and Israel.




How to Cite

Herzog, T. (2020). Maarten Prak’s Citizens without Nations and the Legal History of Spain. TSEG - The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History, 17(3), 91-100.



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