Machiavelli on International Relations

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-03-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The importance of international politics in Niccolo Machiavelli's thought cannot be denied. Although the familiar ideas expressed in the Prince and the Discourses are obviously relevant, the Art of War, the History of Florence, the dispatches that he wrote during his diplomatic missions, several minor political writings, and the private letters contain a number of additional insights and observations that refine and enrich his views. This anthology gathers together for the first time all of Machiavelli's writing on international affairs.

About 60 excerpts are organized around key themes, such as: the idea that political action takes place in a context that constrains decisions and affects outcomes; the central role played by fear in influencing foreign policy; the ways in which domestic politics and international politics interact; the fundamental functions performed by the armed forces; the similarities and differences in the foreign policy of republics and principalities; the ambivalent relationship between defence and expansion; the curse of neutrality and the ambiguities of alliances; the precariousness of international arrangements and the inherent instability of any settlement. An introductory chapter and accompanying illustrative materials guide the reader through the conceptual world of Machiavelli and the complex political events of his time.

Author Biography

Marco Cesa, Professor of International Relations, University of Bologna and Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Bologna Center, Johns Hopkins University

Marco Cesa holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Florence as well as a MA and a PhD in the same field from the University of Colorado and Boston University, respectively. He has been Ford Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute; and Visiting Scholar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University. He has taught at the Universities of Trieste, Pavia, Pisa; the Catholic University, Milan; the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC; and the Diplomatische Akademie, Vienna. He is currently Professor of International Relations at the University of Bologna and at the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Bologna Center, Johns Hopkins University.

Table of Contents

Part 1. A Way of Thinking and Some Basic Assumptions
1.1. A Compelling Logic
1.2. On Human Nature
1.3. On Times and Affairs
Part 2. The International Context: Fear and Self-Help
2.1. Survival and Security
2.2. 'Fear Is the Greatest Master'
2.3. Good Laws and Good Armies
Part 3. Domestic Orders, Disorders, and Foreign Affairs
3.1. The Great Powers Compared
3.2. Domestic Affairs and Foreign Affairs
3.3. Leaders and Strategies
3.4. Republics and Principalities
Part 4. Foreign Policy and International Politics
4.1. Preferences, Opportunities and Constraints
4.2. Dealing with Threats
4.3. Engaging in Expansion
4.4. Neutrality and Alliances
Part 5. History and Analysis
5.1. The Italian State System, 1444-1454
5.2. Entrapping an Ally: France and Florence
5.3. What the Pope Should Do Now
5.4. Towards the Sack of Rome

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