History of Ideas:  Hobbes on the State

History of Ideas: Hobbes on the State

By David Runciman and Catherine Carr

Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651) reimagined how we could do politics. It redefined many of the ideas that continue to shape modern politics: representation, sovereignty, the state. But in Leviathan these ideas have a strange and puzzling power. David explores what Hobbes was trying to achieve and how a vision of politics that came out of the English civil war, can still illuminate the world we live in.

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Going Deeper:

David Runciman, ‘The sovereign’ in The Oxford handbook of Hobbes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013)Richard Tuck, Hobbes a Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)(Video) Quentin Skinner, ‘What is the state? The question that will not go away’(Video) Sophie Smith, ‘The nature of politics’, the 2017 Quentin Skinner lecture. Noel Malcolm, Aspects of Hobbes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)David for The Guardian on Hobbes and the coronavirus
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