A Social Research dedicou uma edição inteira aos 500 anos de publicação de O Príncipe de Maquiavel. John McCormick (Chicago) foi o responsável pela introdução e pela organização dos 10 textos que compõe o volume. Além dos artigos de McCormick, destaque para o artigo do historiador Jacob Soll (USC) no qual ele refaz a história da recepção do livro (The Reception of The Prince 1513 - 1700, or Why We Understand Machiavelli the Way We Do).
- McCormick: "Machiavelli's The Prince at 500: The Fate of Politics in the Modern World"
Niccolò Machiavelli would have undoubtedly secured enduring fame for any one of the roles he played during his life in and out of Renaissance Florence: historian, diplomat, military strategist, civil servant, poet, playwright. However, it was in his capacity as a political thinker that Machiavelli earned eternal renown. His political writings sparked some of the most intense scholarly controversies in Western intellectual history and raised fundamental questions that every participant in politics throughout the globe would henceforth have to confront. Not without reason, many commentators consider Machiavelli the father of modern political thought or modern political science—some even ordain him the founder of “modernity” itself.
Yet the specific content and precise objectives of his political writings remain elusive half a millennium after their circulation. Was Machiavelli an advisor of tyranny or a partisan of liberty? A neutral technician of power politics or an Italian patriot? An anticlerical reviver of pagan virtue or a devious initiator of modern nihilism? To what extent was Machiavelli a “Machiavellian”? What would Machiavelli, the self-proclaimed and widely reputed master of political prudence, say about contemporary political problems? Intriguing answers to some of these provocative questions are offered by the esteemed contributors to this special issue of Social Research, which commemorates the five hundredth anniversary of the composition of Machiavelli’s most famous work, On Principalities (1513–1514)—or, as it was titled by others, The Prince.
This “little book,” as Machiavelli called his short treatise on the means of gaining, holding, and expanding political power, certainly announced a dramatic break with previous political doctrines anchored in substantively moral and religious systems of thought. Unlike his classical or medieval predecessors, who took their political bearings from transcendentally valid or divinely sanctioned conceptions of justice, the author of The Prince oriented himself to the “effectual truth” of politics; how the world actually “is” rather than how it “ought” to be. Indeed, Machiavelli’s often brutally “realistic” advice—meticulously analyzed here with surprising results by contributor Erica Benner—seems intended to contravene all previous, socially respectable forms of political reflection
- McCormick: "The Enduring Ambiguity of Machiavellian Virtue: Cruelty, Crime and Christianity"