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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Maurizio Viroli

Professor Ph.D., European University Institute in Florence

Maurizio Viroli



Maurizio Viroli is Professor of Government at the University of Texas (Austin), Professor of Political Communication at the University of Italian Switzerland (Lugano), and Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University. He holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute of Firenze. He has taught and conducted research at the universities of Cambridge (Clare Hall), Georgetown (Washington, D.C.), the United Arab Emirates, Trento, Campobasso, Ferrara, the Institute for Advanced Study of Princeton, the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, the European University Institute of Firenze (Jean Monnet Fellow), the Collegio of Milano and the Scuola Superiore di Amministrazione dell’Interno. He has promoted and directed several projects on civic education in Italian schools. In particular, he has founded and is now the Director of a Master’s program in Civic Education established at Asti by Ethica Association.

Prof. Viroli has served as an advisor on cultural activities to the President of the Italian Republic during the presidency of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (1999-2006), and has worked for the President of the Camera dei Deputati during the presidency of Luciano Violante (1996-2001). He has served as the coordinator of the National Committee for the Improvement of the Republican Culture within the Ministry of Home Affairs. He has been consultant of ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities). On May 30, 2001, he was appointed Ufficiale dell'Ordine al Merito of the Italian Republic.

He is the author of Jean Jacques Rousseau and the "Well-Ordered Society", Cambridge University Press, 1988; From Politics to Reason of State. The Acquisition and Transformation of the Language of Politics (1250-1600), Cambridge University Press, 1992; For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 1995; Machiavelli, Oxford University Press, 1998; Niccolò’s Smile, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1998; Republicanism, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1999; The Idea of the Republic, with Norberto Bobbio, Polity Press, 2003; How to read Machiavelli, Granta, 2008; Machiavelli’s God, Princeton University Press, 2010; The Liberty of the Servants, Princeton University Press, 2011; As if God Existed. Religion and Liberty in the History of Italy, Princeton University press, 2012; Redeeming the "Prince". The Meaning of Machiavelli’s Masterpiece, Princeton University Press, 2013. With Gisela Bock and Quentin Skinner he is the editor of Machiavelli and Republicanism, Cambridge University Press, 1990. He has edited and written the Introduction of Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, translation by Peter Bondanella, Oxford University Press, 2005.


History of political thought; classical republicanism and neo-republicanism; Niccolò Machiavelli; Jean Jacques Rousseau; republican iconography; the relationship between religion and politics; patriotism; constitutionalism, classical rhetoric; political communication; citizenship and civic education

GOV 351D • Theor Foundtns Modern Politics

39195 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm UTC 3.110
(also listed as CTI 321 )
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The main goal of this course is to offer students a historical and philosophical

introduction to political philosophy. Unlike most introductory courses in political theory, GOV 351 does not attempt to cover the whole history of political philosophy from ancient Greece to our time, but focuses on a main theme, namely, the excellence of politics. It uses a few ancient and modern philosophers whose writings are particularly relevant for the topic of the course: Arendt, Aristotle, Beccaria, Cicero, Constant, Erasmus, Hobbes, Kant, Machiavelli, Marx, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.



Reading List

Books Marked with * are required all the others recommended


Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, Harcourt Brace

*Aristotle, Politics, University of Chicago Press

Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishments, Cambridge University Press

*Cicero, On Duties, Cambridge University Press

Constant, “Of the Liberty of the Ancients” in Constant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press

Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince, Cambridge University Press

*Hobbes, Leviathan, Cambridge University Press

*Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Cambridge University Press

*Kant, “What is Enlightenment?,” “Perpetual Peace,” and “Idea for a Universal History,”in Kant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press

*Machiavelli, The Prince, Oxford University Press

__________, Discourses on Livy, University of Chicago Press

Marx, “The Communist Manifesto” in The Marx-Engels Reader, Tucker ed., Norton

Dostoevsky, The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor, Filiquarian Publishing

*Rousseau, “Discourse on Inequality” and “Discourse on Political Economy,” in Rousseau, Basic Political Writings, Hackett

Skinner, Liberty Before Liberalism, Cambridge University Press

*Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Mayer ed., Harper Collins

Skinner, Renaissance Virtues (selection), Cambridge University Press  

Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, Basic Books 

*Walzer, Exodus and Revolution, Basic Books

Gentile, Politics as Religion, Princeton University Press


Schedule of Lectures


Week I

Presentation of the course

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. I, chs. 1-2


Week 2

Aristotle, Politics, Bk. II, ch. 1 and Bk. III (all)

Cicero, On Duties, Bks. I and III


Week 3

Ambrogio Lorenzetti’ Buongoverno

Quentin Skinner, Renaissance Virtues  (selection)


Week 4

Erasmus, The Education of a Christian Prince (all)

Machiavelli, The Prince


Week 5

Machiavelli, The Discourses, Bk. I, chs. 1-13, 15-18, and 40-60

Machiavelli, The Discourses, Bk. II, chs. 1-3; Bk. III, Chs. 1, 3, 7, 8, and 41


Week 6  

Hobbes, Leviathan, Hobbes’ Introduction and chs. 13-22

Hobbes, Leviathan, chs. 26-31 and “A Review and Conclusion”


Week 7

Locke, Second treatise of Government  chs.I-IX

Locke, Second treatise of Government  chs.XI-XIX


Week 8


“Discourse on Inequality”

“On Political Economy” and “Of the Social Contract”


Week 9

Beccaria, Of Crimes and Punishments (all)

Kant, “What is Enlightenment” and “Idea for a Universal History”


Week 10

Kant, “Perpetual Peace”

Constant, “The Liberty of the Ancients compared to the Liberty of the Moderns.”; Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism (all)


Week 11

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. I: pp. 9-163 and 173-311

Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Vol. II: pp. 417-497


Week 12

Dostoevsky, The legend of The Grand Inquisitor

Michael Walzer, Exodus and revolution


Week 13

Marx, The Communist Manifesto

Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism


 Week 14


Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars

Course review


Assignments and Grading

Midterm 40%

Final 60%


Flag: Global cultures; ethics and leadership.

GOV 382K • Studies In Polit Thry & Philos

39430 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 630pm-800pm GAR 1.134
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The main goal of the seminar is to offer students a critical knowledge of the most relevant texts in political philosophy and a good basis for the comprehensive exam in political theory. Particular attention will be dedicated to the discussion of the various methods of interpreting classical works in political philosophy and to the analysis of fundamental concepts like liberty, justice, duty, rights, power, reason, rhetoric, liberalism, republicanism, socialism.


No prerequisites


Grading: students are requested to make a presentation in the seminar on an author or theme of their choice. The presentation will be evaluated in the context of the general participation. They are also requested to write a final paper of 25-30 pages. The final grade will be based on participation (50%) and on the paper (50%)


Reading List


1. Thucydides, Peloponnesian War (Martin Hammond edition, Oxford University Press)

2. Plato, Republic (G.R.F. Ferrari, Cambridge University Press)

_____, Gorgias (Davin Stauffer edition,Cambridge University Press)

3. Aristotle, Politics (Stephen Everson edition, Cambridge University Press)

4. Cicero, On Duties (M.T. Griffin edition, Cambridge University Press

5.Xenophon, Education of Cyrus (Wayne Ambler Cornell University Press)

6. Augustine, City of God, selections (Book II, Chapters 2, 21; V, 12-21; XII, 1-8; XIV, 1-9, 28; XIX, 1-7, 12-17, 21, 24-28)

7. Thomas Aquinas, selections from Summa Theologiae  (all of volume edited by Dino Bigongiari)

8. Machiavelli, Prince (Oxford Classics)

_____, Discourses on Livy (Harvey Mansfield edition, Chicago University Press)

____, The Florentine Histories (Laura Banfield and Mansfield edition, Princeton University Press)

9. Guicciardini, Dialogue on the Government of Florence (Alison Brown edition, Cambridge University Press)

10. Hobbes, Leviathan (Richard Tuck edition, Cambridge University Press)

11. Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Peter Laslett edition Cambridge University Press)

_____, Letter on Toleration (James Tully edition, Hackett Publishing) 

12. Rousseau, First and Second Discourses (The Basic Political Writings, Donald Cress and David Wootton edition, Hackett Publishing)

_____, Social Contract (The Basic Political Writings, Donald Cress and David Wootton edition, Hackett Publishing)

13. Kant, Political Writings (H. Reiss, edition, Cambridge University Press)

14. Hegel, Philosophy of Right (Allen W. Wood edition, Cambridge University Press)

15. J. S. Mill, On Liberty (Stefano Collini edition, Cambridge University Press)

16. Alexis De Tocqueville, Democracy in America (Harvey C. Mansfield edition, The University of Chicago Press)

17. Marx (and Engels), from The Marx-Engels Reader, (Richard Tucker edition, Norton):

Manifesto of the Communist Party

Theses on Feuerbach

The German Ideology, Part I

18. Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals (Keith Ansell Pearson, Cambridge University Press)

19. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harvest Book)


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