The Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions presents:
Michelle Clarke, Dartmouth, James Hankins, Harvard University, Gabrielle Pedulla, Italian Academy of Advanced Studies and Yves Winter, McGill University: A panel discussion of Michelle Clarke’s new book, “Machiavelli’s Florentine Republic.”
What do modern republics have to fear? Machiavelli’s Florentine Republic reconstructs Machiavelli’s answer to this question from the perspective of the Florentine Histories, his most probing meditation on the fate of republican politics in the modern age. It argues that his principle goal in narrating the defeat of Florentine republicanism is to debunk the views of leading humanists concerning the overall health of republican politics in modernity and the distinctive challenges that modern republics should expect to face. The Medici family had exposed these vulnerabilities better than anyone else, and Machiavelli reconstructs their political strategy to show how conventional ideas of moral and political virtue are the most potent instruments of princely ambition in a city that wants to be free.