Interpreting The Prince: A Debate Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Machiavelli's Classic Text

December 9, 2012
Mansfield Viroli event poster

Harvey C. MansfieldWilliam R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government, Harvard University; Author of Machiavelli's Virtue (University of Chicago Press) and Translator of Machiavelli's The Prince (University of Chicago Press); and Maurizio ViroliProfessor of Politics, Princeton University; Author of Machiavelli's God (Princeton University Press) and How to Read Machiavelli (Granta UK) 
Moderator: Robert P. GeorgeMcCormick Professor of Jurisprudence; Director, James Madison Program, Princeton University

Harvey C. Mansfield is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Government at Harvard University.  He was Chairman of the Government Department from 1973-1977, has held Guggenheim and NEH Fellowships, and has been a Fellow at the National Humanities Center. He won the Joseph R. Levenson award for his teaching at Harvard, received the Sidney Hook Memorial award from the National Association of Scholars, and in 2004 accepted a National Humanities Medal from the President.  In 2007, he delivered the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Jefferson Lecture.  Mansfield examines both contemporary politics and their historical origins. His fourteen books delve into the words of past thinkers such as Edmund Burke and Machiavelli, where he finds answers to puzzles such as why we believe today that political parties are respectable or desirable. Mansfield’s first book, Statesmanship and Party Government: A Study of Burke and Bolingbroke, came out in 1965. Since then he has published thirteen more books including three translations of Machiavelli and a translation of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, which he co-translated with his late wife Delba Winthrop. Articles and political analysis by Mansfield frequently appear in periodicals such as the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, the National Review, and the Times Literary Supplement.  Mansfield’s numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Humanities Medal. He has served as a member of the Council of the American Political Science Association and the National Council on the Humanities, as a fellow of the National Humanities Center, and as president of the New England Historical Association. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Maurizio Viroli is Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and Director of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies at the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, where he is full professor of Political Communication.  He also serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Collegio Carlo Alberto of Moncalieri, and has founded and is now the Director of a Master's program in Civic Education established at Asti by Ethica Association of Asti. He is also the scientific coordinator of the Academies of Civic Education of the Compagnia San Paolo Foundation, and since 2005 he participates in the projects of Civic Education organized by the Department of Education of the Marche region, Italy. His main fields of research are political theory and the history of political thought, classical republicanism and neo-republicanism, with a special expertise on Niccolò Machiavelli and Jean Jacques Rousseau, republican iconography, the relationship between religion and politics, patriotism, constitutionalism, classical rhetoric, political communication, citizenship, and civic education. Among his many books are Machiavelli (Oxford University, 1998); Niccolò’s Smile (Farrar Straus and Giroux); The Idea of the Republic (Cambridge, Polity Press, 2003); How to Read Machiavelli (Cambridge Granta, 2008); Machiavelli’s God (Princeton University Press, 2010); with Antony Shugaar, The Liberty of Servants: Berlusconi’s Italy (Princeton University Press, 2011); As if God Existed, Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy, (Princeton University Press, 2012). He has edited and written the Introduction to  Niccolò Machiavelli’s, The Prince (Oxford University Press, 2005), and with Gisela Bock and Quentin Skinner he is the editor of Machiavelli and Republicanism (Cambridge University Press, 1990).  He holds a Laurea degree in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and a Ph.D. in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute of Firenze.

Video:

Interpreting The Prince: A Debate Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Machiavelli's Classic Text

Location:

Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall

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