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Author: Cesare Cuttica

Abstract

Well-known for his work on absolutism, divine right theory, and his contextual reading of Hobbes’ ideas, Sommerville also published successful critical editions of Sir Robert Filmer and King James vi and I’s political writing. Sommerville’s engagement in key historiographical debates on early- modern British history, involving “opposing camps” of revisionists and post-revisionists, is less explored. Here, I focus on the question whether pre-Civil War England was immune to ideological conflict or, instead, featured a confrontation between King and Parliament based on ideas of power, liberty and obedience. I also highlight the continued relevance of Sommerville’s innovative account of English political thought as deeply shaped by European theories. His work reminds us of the role of the history of political thought in rectifying false claims and unchecked opinions, so commonly expounded in our divided world. In conclusion, I advance my own critical interpretation of Sommerville’s views on absolutism and patriarchalism.

In: Hobbes Studies
In: Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603–1689 
In: Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought
In: Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603–1689 
In: Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603–1689 
In: Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603–1689 
In: Democracy and Anti-Democracy in Early Modern England 1603–1689 
Listen to the podcast here.

This cross-disciplinary collection of essays examines – for the first time and in detail – the variegated notions of democracy put forward in seventeenth-century England. It thus shows that democracy was widely explored and debated at the time; that anti-democratic currents and themes have a long history; that the seventeenth century is the first period in English history where we nonetheless find positive views of democracy; and that whether early-modern writers criticised or advocated it, these discussions were important for the subsequent development of the concept and practice ‘democracy’.
By offering a new historical account of such development, the book provides an innovative exploration of an important but overlooked topic whose relevance is all the more considerable in today’s political debates, civic conversation, academic arguments and media talk.

Contributors include Camilla Boisen, Alan Cromartie, Cesare Cuttica, Hannah Dawson, Martin Dzelzainis, Rachel Foxley, Matthew Growhoski, Rachel Hammersley, Peter Lake, Gaby Mahlberg, Markku Peltonen, Edward Vallance, and John West.
Volume Editors: Cesare Cuttica and László Kontler
Listen to the podcast here.

Read Crisis as a trigger for new ways of thinking about politics here.

This volume explores the complex theme of crisis in European political thought from antiquity to the twenty-first century. It investigates the innovations in political thought that sprang from crisis, as well as the conceptual challenges thinkers faced when dealing with the devastation wrought by spiritual, economic and political crises. In so doing, Crisis and Renewal also examines the ways in which crisis often became the site of renewal. As an object of theoretical reflection, and as a pivotal element of our vocabulary, the notion of crisis is often applied, indiscriminately and without clarity, to a huge variety of domains.This volume provides a historically informed analysis of what it means to reflect on and theorise about crisis.
Contributors are: Erica Benner, Niall Bond, Nathaniel Boyd, Andrea Catanzaro, Patricia Chiantera-Stutte, Alberto Clerici, Cesare Cuttica, Annalisa Furia, George Gallwey, Kai Gräf, Ferenc Hörcher, Paschalis M. Kitromilides, László Kontler, Adriana Luna-Fabritius, Clara Maier, Janine Murphy, Adrian O’Connor, and Mark Somos.