Niccolo Machiavelli: Politics, Philosophy, Law

This workshop will be devoted to the Political Theory and Philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli.

Machiavelli is one of the most influential thinkers of the Western political tradition. Every single political philosopher who comes after him refers to him, either implicitly or explicitly. Every serious politician is, sooner or later, confronted with some of the practical problems Machiavelli addresses.

Five hundred years after his death, Machiavelli is ubiquitous but enigmatic: often quoted, but rarely understood, his ideas frequently reduced to a few maxims from The Prince. The proposed workshop combines a historical perspective with a theoretical approach. It aims at examining the theoretical problems Machiavelli raised, problems critical not only for the early modern age but for all subsequent Western political theory.

Paper proposals (ca. 1000 words), in English, French, or Italian are welcome in any of the following axes:

The Secretary of the Republic: Machiavelli and the Crisis of the Late Renaissance.

Sempre vi fu chi serve e chi comanda: The Early Writings.

The verità effettuale della cosa: Machiavelli’s Ontological Realism.

Grounding on the Void: The Origin of Politics and Constituent Power.

The Criticism of Common Good and the Humanist Tradition.

Theory of Tumult: Law, Conflict, and Political Order.

Fortune as Occasion: A Theory of Contingency.

The Ordinanza: Military Reform as Political Revolution.

History as a Kampfplatz: Historiography as a Political Theory.

Parole ignominiose: Problems of Language and Translation.

In a Materialist Way: Machiavelli’s Philosophy.

The Criticism of Liberality: Politics and Economy.

The Poverty of Rhetoric: Repoliticising Machiavelli.

Demos and Kratos: Machiavellian Democracy and Theories of Popular Participation.

Sources: Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Livy, Polybius, Tacitus, Cicero, Averroism.

The Conflictual Heritage: Vettori, Guicciardini, Gentili, Le Roy, Gentillet, Campanella,

Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Harrington, Spinoza, Bayle, Frederick II, de la Houssaye,

Montesquieu, Rousseau, Hegel, Fichte, Quinet, Croce, Gramsci, Arendt, Strauss, Althusser.

Paper proposals and a short CV should be sent by May 15th to the workshop organizer, Filippo Del Lucchese (Brunel University – London) at the following email address:

The expected presenting time will be around 30-40 minutes per speaker, depending on the exact number of papers. The MANCEPT conference official language is English, but exceptions can be granted, if a sufficient number of presenters in another language is found.


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