Political Theory

Interest Will Not Lie: Liberty and the Development of ‘Reason of State’ Theory


Via a reading of early modern texts, this colloquium considered the development of interest-based and “reason of state” models of politics, and whether those models have been beneficial or harmful to liberty.


Conference Readings

Guicciardini, Francesco. Maxims and Reflections (Ricordi). Edited by Mario Domandi. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965.

An Eye-Witness (William Sancroft). Modern Policies, taken from Machiavel, Borgia, and other choice authors (The Seventh Edition). London: J. Streater, for Thoman Dring, at the Sign of the George, in Fleet-Street, near Clifford's-Inn, 1657.

Boccalini, Trajano. Newes from Pernassus. The Political Touchstone, taken from Mount Pernassus: whereon the Governments of the Greates Monarchies of the World are Touched. Translated by Thomas Scott. Helicon: --, 1622.

Botero, G. The Reason of State. Translated by P. J. Waley and D. P. Waley. London: --, 1956.

Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Edited by Richard Tuck. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. Edited by David Wootton. Translated by David Wootton. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett, 1995.

Rohan, Henri duc de. A Treatise of the Interest of the Princes and States of Christendom. Written in French by the Most Noble and Illustrious Prince, the Duke of Rohan. Translated by H. Hunt. Paris: --, 1640.

Waller, Edmund. A Panegyrick to my Lord Protector, of the Present Greatness and Joynt Interest of His Highness, and this Nation. London: --, 1655.