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Families and States in Western Europe

by Quentin Skinner

This collection of essays traces the relationship between families and states in the major countries of Western Europe since 1945, examining the power of states to shape family life and the capacity of families to influence states. Written by an exceptionally distinguished team of scholars, Families and States in Western Europe follows many narratives, allowing comparisons to be drawn between different countries. The essays point to numerous convergences, illustrating how states have coped with common problems arising at the level of family life, and exploring issues such as secularism, the pressure of multiculturalist demands and the growing rejection of welfare state principles. Families and States in Western Europe will be of interest to anyone analysing relations between civil society and the modern democratic state, and the place of the family within this relationship. This collection makes a significant contribution to current political theory and to our understanding of European family life in its many different forms.

The foundations of modern political thought

by Quentin Skinner

A two-volume study of political thought from the late thirteenth to the end of the sixteenth century, the decisive period of transition from medieval to modern political theory. The work is intended to be both an introduction to the period for students, and a presentation and justification of a particular approach to the interpretation of historical texts. Volume One deals with the Renaissance, Volume Two with the Age of Reformation. Quentin Skinner gives an outline account of all the principal texts of the period, discussing in turn the chief political writings of Dante, Marsiglio, Bartolus, Machiavelli, Erasmus and more, Luther and Calvin, Bodin and the Calvinist revolutionaries. But he also examines a very large number of lesser writers in order to explain the general social and intellectual context in which these leading theorists worked. He thus presents the history not as a procession of 'classic texts' but are more readily intelligible. He traces by this means the gradual emergence of the vocabulary of modern political thought, and in particular the crucial concept of the State. We are given an insight into the actual processes of the formation of ideologies and into some of the linkages between political theory and practice. The work aspires, in this sense, to give the first genuinely historical account of the political thought of the period.

Freedom and the Construction of Europe

by Quentin Skinner Martin Van Gelderen

Freedom, today perceived simply as a human right, was a continually contested idea in the early modern period. In Freedom and the Construction of Europe an international group of scholars explore the richness, diversity and complexity of thinking about freedom in the shaping of modernity. Volume 1 examines debates about religious and constitutional liberties, as well as exploring the tensions between free will and divine omnipotence across a continent of proliferating religious denominations. Volume 2 considers free persons and free states, examining differing views about freedom of thought and action and their relations to conceptions of citizenship. Debates about freedom have been fundamental to the construction of modern Europe, but represent a part of our intellectual heritage that is rarely examined in depth. These volumes provide materials for thinking in fresh ways not merely about the concept of freedom, but how it has come to be understood in our own time.

Freedom and the Construction of Europe

by Quentin Skinner Martin Van Gelderen

Freedom, today perceived simply as a human right, was a continually contested idea in the early modern period. In Freedom and the Construction of Europe an international group of scholars explore the richness, diversity and complexity of thinking about freedom in the shaping of modernity. Volume 1 examines debates about religious and constitutional liberties, as well as exploring the tensions between free will and divine omnipotence across a continent of proliferating religious denominations. Volume 2 considers free persons and free states, examining differing views about freedom of thought and action and their relations to conceptions of citizenship. Debates about freedom have been fundamental to the construction of modern Europe, but represent a part of our intellectual heritage that is rarely examined in depth. These volumes provide materials for thinking in fresh ways not merely about the concept of freedom, but how it has come to be understood in our own time.

Liberty Before Liberalism

by Quentin Skinner

This extended essay by one of the world's leading historians seeks, in its first part, to excavate and to vindicate, the neo-Roman theory of free citizens and free states as it developed in early modern Britain. This analysis leads on to a powerful defence of the nature, purposes and goals of intellectual history and the history of ideas. As Quentin Skinner says, 'the intellectual historian can help us to appreciate how far the values embodied in our present way of life, and our present ways of thinking about those values, reflect a series of choices made at different times between different possible worlds'. This essay provides one of the most substantial statements yet made about the importance, relevance and potential excitement of this form of historical enquiry. Liberty before Liberalism is based on Quentin Skinner's Inaugural Lecture as Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge, delivered in 1997.

Machiavelli: The Prince

by Russell Price Quentin Skinner

Professor Skinner presents a lucid analysis of Machiavelli's text as a response to the world of Florentine politics.

Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction

by Quentin Skinner

I think of Machiavelli essentially as the exponent of a neo-classical form of humanist political thought. I argue in addition that the most original and creative aspects of his political vision are best understood as a series of polemical -- sometimes even satirical -- reactions against the humanist assumptions he inherited and basically continued to endorse. While my principal aim has been to provide a straightforward introduction to Machiavelli's views on statecraft, I hope that this interpretation may also be of some interest to specialists in the field.

The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Quentin Skinner Raymond Geuss Victor Gourevitch

The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. Volume II contains the later writings such as The Social Contract and a selection of Rousseau's letters on important aspects of his thought. The Social Contract has become Rousseau's most famous single work, but on publication was condemned by both the civil and the ecclesiastical authorities in France and Geneva. Rousseau fled and it is during this period that he wrote some of his autobiographical works as well as political essays such as On the Government of Poland. This 1997 volume, like its predecessor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading, and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers.

Sovereignty in Fragments

by Hent Kalmo Quentin Skinner

The political make-up of the contemporary world changes with such rapidity that few attempts have been made to consider with adequate care, the nature and value of the concept of sovereignty. What exactly is meant when one speaks about the acquisition, preservation, infringement or loss of sovereignty? This book revisits the assumptions underlying the applications of this fundamental category, as well as studying the political discourses in which it has been embedded. Bringing together historians, constitutional lawyers, political philosophers and experts in international relations, Sovereignty in Fragments seeks to dispel the illusion that there is a unitary concept of sovereignty of which one could offer a clear definition. This book will appeal to scholars and advanced students of international relations, international law and the history of political thought.

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