Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought: Bodin: On Sovereignty

Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought: Bodin: On Sovereignty

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Bodin's Six livres de la republique is a vast synthesis of comparative public law and politics, the theoretical core of which is formed by the four chapters translated in this volume. These contain his celebrated theory of sovereignty, which informed his thinking on the state and made his Republique a landmark in the development of European political thought. This theory, however, also included a seductive but erroneous thesis that was of great importance for the development of royalist ideology: the idea that sovereignty is indivisible, that the entire power of the state has to be vested in a single individual or group. This thesis, together with the crisis of authority in the French religious wars, led Bodin to a systematically absolutist interpretation of the French and other contemporary monarchies. His primary aim was to exclude any legal ground of forcible resistance. A king of France, he hoped, would continue to adhere to moral and prudential limitations, but a proper king, he insisted, could not be lawfully constrained. This is the first complete translation of these chapters into English since 1606. It is accompanied by a lucid introduction, a chronology, and a bibliography.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 194 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 15mm | 230g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521349923
  • 9780521349925
  • 368,789

Table of contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; Principal events in Bodin's life; Bibliography; Note on the text; Notes on format; Notes on translation; 1. Republique; 2. Book 1, chapter 8 on sovereignty; 3. Book 1, chapter 10 on the true marks of sovereignty; 4. Book 2, chapter 1 on the kinds of state in general; 5. Book 2, chapter 5 whether it is lawful to make an attempt upon the tyrant's life and to nullify and repeal his ordinances after he is dead; Textual notes; Index.
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Review quote

'Professor Julian Franklin's edition of 'Bodin: On Sovereignty' consists of four chapters from Les Six Livres de la Republique, incontestably one of the seminal texts in modern political thought.' French History
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66 ratings
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3 38% (25)
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1 8% (5)
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