Machiavelli’s Art of Politics


In Machiavelli’s Art of Politics Alejandro Bárcenas offers a reexamination of Niccolò Machiavelli’s political thought in order to propose a concise and historically accurate portrayal of his ideas and intellectual context.

This study provides a nuanced view of the complexities of Machiavelli’s thought by analyzing his classical background, taking into particular consideration the influence of Xenophon, and his view of the ideal ruler as someone who creates the conditions for a flourishing human life. In addition, Bárcenas explains why Machiavelli defends a republican political order that encourages citizens to live according to their own laws while serving a common good and revises his legacy through the writings of Leo Strauss, Eric Voegelin and Maurizio Viroli.

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Alejandro Bárcenas (Ph.D., University of Hawaii at Manoa), is Assistant Professor of philosophy at Texas State University, USA. His research focuses on political theory, classical Chinese philosophy and aesthetics.
Table of Contents

Part 1 Machiavelli’s Background
1.1 Machiavellism
1.2 Why Xenophon matters
1.3 Advising the ruler
1.4 In search of virtue
Part 2 Machiavelli’s Ruler
2.1 Against Augustinianism
2.2 Politics and morals
2.3 The political artist
Part 3 Machiavelli’s Republic
3.1 Imperium et libertas
3.2 The Prince or the Discourses?
3.3 Liberty and the laws
3.4 Imperialism and violence
Part 4 Machiavelli’s Legacy
4.1 Strauss: Machiavelli as the root of tyranny
4.2 Voegelin: Machiavelli in his context
4.3 Viroli: Machiavelli’s civic and religious reformation
Appendix I The Prince (selections)
Appendix II The Discourses (selections)
Bibliography of works cited
All interested in political philosophy, the Renaissance, Italian history and anyone concerned with intellectual history in general. Direct interest for academic and public libraries, institutes, educated laymen, undergraduate students, graduate students and scholars.