• Vita

    since 2021 University of Münster
    Research Associate at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg „Legal Unity and Pluralism“
    2021 TU Dresden
    Grant for the Completion and Wrap-up Phase, Graduate Academy
    2019 – 2020 University of Warwick
    Visiting Researcher
    2018 – 2021 TU Dresden
    PhD Scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)
    2017 – 2018 TU Dresden
    Research Associate at the Collaborative Research Centre 1285 “Invectivity. Constellations and Dynamics of Disparagement”
    2016 – 2017 TU Dresden
    Research Associate at the Chair for Early Modern History
    2016 TU Dresden
    Master of Arts in History


  • Research Project

    Manorial Rule 1500-1800

    For a long time, historians assumed that the exercise of power in the early modern period was increasingly carried out in an absolutist manner. However, the observation that sovereigns ultimately lacked the means of power to enforce their interests against resistance led to a shift in thinking about early modern rule. Rather than being defined by a top-down enforcement of power, we now consider early modern rule a constant negotiation and mediation of rule and power (Aushandeln und Vermitteln von Herrschaft). In recent years, the cultural history of politics has traced the processes of communication which were involved in the negotiation of power and concluded that they were not a one-sided affair, but can be seen as an (unequal) dialogue between authorities and subjects. Accordingly, early modern rule can even be described as ‘acceptance-oriented’ rule (akzeptanzorientierte Herrschaft).

    However, two aspects have received little attention so far: Firstly, the legal and economic preconditions of the rural subjects that formed the basis for their entering into this dialogue; secondly, the intermediate level of manorial rule (Grundherrschaft), which is likely to have played a far greater role in the everyday life of the rural population than territorial rule. It remains an open question whether we can characterise manorial rule also as ‘acceptance-oriented’ rule or whether local power relations paint a different picture.

    The project addresses these questions in a comparative study of different areas of the Holy Roman Empire and pays particular attention to the development of the dynamics of rule and power over the course of the early modern period.

  • Main Areas of Research

    History of Violence

    History of Crime and Criminal Justice

    Digital History

  • Publications


    Seebröker, Benjamin, Interpersonelle Gewalt und gesellschaftlicher Wandel. Lancashire 1728–1830 (Konflikte und Kultur 42), München 2023.
    The raw research data for this publication is made available via Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.8288686

    Articles (peer-reviewed)

    Seebröker, Benjamin: Lethal Violence in Decline? A Critical Review of Historical Homicide Rates in England, in: Crime, Histoire & Sociétés 25, 2 (2021), 33–57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/chs.3050

    Schwerhoff, Gerd/Seebröker, Benjamin/Kästner, Alexander/Voigt, Wiebke: Hard Numbers? The Long-Term Decline in Violence Reassessed. Empirical Objections and Fresh Perspectives, in: Continuity and Change 36, 1 (2021), 1–32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0268416021000096


    Ostrowski, Alina/Hopp, Jorrit/Seebröker, Benjamin/Bartl, Lukas/Gerstmeier, Markus/Brendel, Heiko/ Donig, Simon/Rehbein, Malte: Arbeitsmigration in der süddeutschen NS-Kriegswirtschaft. Computergestützte Datenexploration mittels historischer Geoinformation und Netzwerkanalyse, in: Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 74, 9/10 (2023), 550–570.

    Seebröker, Benjamin: „Alles kommt vom Bergwerk her“? Städtische Identität und Bergbau in Chroniken erzgebirgischer Städte in der Frühen Neuzeit, in: Neues Archiv für Sächsische Geschichte 90 (2019), 109–128.

    Articles in edited collections

    Seebröker, Benjamin: Vom Tatort vors Gericht. Mündlichkeit und Verwaltungsschrifttum in englischen Gerichtsakten des 18. Jahrhunderts [erscheint 2024].

    Seebröker, Benjamin: Zur Abwesenheit konfessioneller Marker in den Strafverfolgungsakten Lancashires im langen 18. Jahrhundert, in: Gesellschaftliche Diversität und Phänomene rechtlicher Einheit und Vielfalt in der vormodernen Stadt. Effekte konfessioneller und religiöser Diversität, hrsg. v. Ulrike Ludwig (EViR Working Papers 7), Münster 2024, 77–93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17879/88978695995

    Kästner, Alexander/Benjamin Seebröker: Beschaffen, verwalten, begraben. Die Dresdner Anatomie und ihre Leichen, 1748-1817, in: Tiefe Einblicke. Das anatomische Theater im Zeitalter der Aufklärung, hrsg. v. Johanna Bleker/Petra Lennig/Thomas Schnalke (Kaleidogramme, 167), Berlin 2018, 205–221.

    Articles in Encyclopediae

    Harder, Clara/ Benjamin Seebröker: Norm-Praxis-Konflikt, in: Münsteraner Glossar zu Einheit und Vielfalt im Recht, 3. Ausgabe, (EViR Working Papers 6), Münster 2023, 117–120. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17879/98998690804

    Recensions for Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung und Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte.