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Niccolo Machiavelli on Power

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  • Manfred J. Holler

    () (Universitaet Hamburg)

Abstract

This paper uses the concept of power to analyze Machiavelli's The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius. This helps to distil the elements that form the Machiavelli program that has its short-term aim in the formation of a national state of Italy. A unification of Italy under the umbrella of a princely family (such as identified with Cesare Borgia) was meant to be the first stage in an evolutionary process which, in the end, could lead to a more or less stable republican system. For the latter, the Roman Republic as described in the Discourses is Machiavelli's model. The use of power, but also the minimization of cruelties, and the participation of the people, either in the form of militia to successfully fight foreign armies or to support the princely government, are major ingredients to this process.

Suggested Citation

  • Manfred J. Holler, 2009. "Niccolo Machiavelli on Power," Rationality, Markets and Morals, Frankfurt School Verlag, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, vol. 0(24), November.
  • Handle: RePEc:rmm:journl:v:0:y:2009:i:24
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Muller, Wieland, 2001. "The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 161-169, October.
    2. Guth, Werner & Huck, Steffen & Ockenfels, Peter, 1996. "Two-Level Ultimatum Bargaining with Incomplete Information: An Experimental Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(436), pages 593-604, May.
    3. Werner Güth & Hartmut Kliemt & M. Vittoria Levati & Georg von Wangenheim, 2007. "On the Coevolution of Retribution and Trustworthiness: An (Indirect) Evolutionary and Experimental Analysis," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, pages 143-157.
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    Keywords

    The Prince; Machiavelli; Power; Titus Livius; republic;

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