Grand Strategy Lecture Series - Phillipp Bobbitt (Law ‘75) on Machiavelli

March 26, 2014

On Wednesday, March 26, Philip Bobbitt (Law ‘75) will give a talk on “Machiavelli: Geo-strategist” at 4:30 p.m. in the Hall of Graduate Studies room 211. The lecture is part of the International Security Studies Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy Lecture Series.


Philip Bobbitt is one of the nation’s leading constitutional theorists; Professor Bobbitt’s interests include not only constitutional law but also international security and the history of strategy. He has published eight books: Tragic Choices (with Calabresi) (Norton, 1978), Constitutional Fate (Oxford, 1982), Democracy and Deterrence (Macmillans, 1987), U.S. Nuclear Strategy (with Freedman and Treverton) (St. Martin’s, 1989), Constitutional Interpretation (Blackwell, 1991), The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (Knopf, 2002), and, most recently, Terror and Consent (Knopf, 2008), and The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013).

In The Garments of Court and Palace: Machiavelli and the World That He Made, Bobbitt explores this often misunderstood work in the context of the time. He describes The Prince as one half of a masterpiece that, along with Machiavelli’s often neglectedDiscourses prophesies the end of the feudal era and describes the birth of the neoclassical Renaissance State. Using both Renaissance examples and cases drawn from our current era, Bobbitt situates Machiavelli’s work as a turning point in our understanding of the relation between war and law as these create and maintain the State. This is a fascinating history and commentary by the man Henry Kissinger called “the outstanding political philosopher of our time.

The talk is free and open to the public.