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13 Sovereignty and Reason of State: Bodin, Botero, Richelieu and Hobbes

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests two things: first, that it is necessary to take into account both theories of 'sovereignty' and theories of 'reason of state', not only as two distinct ways of considering modern politics, but also as potentially, two views on those politics. Secondly, it suggests that opposition raises questions concerning the reception of Bodin in Italy, France, and England. It considers the position of Bodin, as both the inventor of modern 'sovereignty' theory and a possible source for theories of 'reason of state': does the relationship between Bodin's Six livres de la république and Botero's Della ragion di stato suffice to warrant ascribing the latter's concept of 'reason of state' to Bodin's legacy? The chapter shows how the legacy of Bodin in Richelieu's period is received, and in some way contradicted, in Hobbes's De Cive, which was published in Paris in the year of Richelieu's death.

Keywords: Della ragion di stato; Hobbes's De Cive; modern politics; sovereignty



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