IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Macchiavelli's Theory of Political Action: Tragedy, Irony and Choice


  • del Aguila, R.


This paper deals with some elements of Machiavelli's theory of political action and its relation with tragedy and choice. 1) I will sketch 3 different interpretations of his work. 2) I will analyse how political action often involves tragic choices between common good and justice, and how this fact might develop (or not) political judgement and the virtue of compassion among citizens. 3) I will consider the relationship between tragedy and irony, and their dangerous connections with cruelty, with particular attention to the work of Machiavelli. 4) I will try to summarize the argument and to answer the question: Was Machiavelli a tragic thinker?.

Suggested Citation

  • del Aguila, R., 2001. "Macchiavelli's Theory of Political Action: Tragedy, Irony and Choice," Papers 2001/3, European Institute - Political and Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:europs:2001/3

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:europs:2001/3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.