28-29 May, 2011
Machiavelli is often called 'the father of modernity' because of his intention to ground politics in an account of human nature free from utopian normativism. This realist design was ill-favoured during religious and idealistic periods of history. Yet recent scholarship identified several thinkers who emulated Machiavelli despite their public denunciation of his politics and morals. The Network's principal objective is to establish whether these thinkers' works and writing strategies constitute a hitherto unidentified, distinct and coherent discourse. If so, then its examination will shed new light on the most fundamental shift in Western politics, from Christian idealism to modern realism, and on the perennial problem of political ethics.