Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe: Machiavelli
Thursday, March 22, 2018 • 5:30PM—7:00PM
Kerwin Hall, Room 301 • American University
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About the Talk
In her 2017 book, Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe, Vickie B. Sullivan argues that a careful reading of Montesquieu reveals that he recognizes a susceptibility to despotic practices in the West—and that the threat emanates not from so called “oriental despotism” but from the despotic ideas of some of the West’s most famous philosophers.
In her lecture, Prof. Sullivan will explore Montesquieu’s critique of one such set of despotic ideas – those of the Florentine politician and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli.
Vickie B. Sullivan is Cornelia M. Jackson Professor of Political Science at Tufts University. She is the author of Machiavelli’s Three Romes: Religion, Human Liberty and Politics Reformed(NIU Press, 1996), Machiavelli Hobbes and the Formation of Liberal Republicanism in England (Cambridge, 2004) and most recently Montesquieu and the Despotic Ideas of Europe(Chicago, 2017) and numerous articles. Prof. Sullivan received her doctorate from the University of Chicago.
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