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The Art of Creating PowerFreedman on Strategy$
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Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190851163

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190851163.001.0001

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Freedman on Machiavelli

Freedman on Machiavelli

Chapter:
(p.279) 15 Freedman on Machiavelli
Source:
The Art of Creating Power
Author(s):

Philip Bobbitt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190851163.003.0016

This chapter links Freedman’s work to that of Niccolò Machiavelli through constructivist realism, which is an apposite term for the two thinkers, as the unchanging sense of human nature interacts with ever changing context, and humans have to adapt to new circumstances, but with the limitations imposed on them both by themselves or situations. Despite their biographical parallels, it is the similarities and complementarities in their thinking that are more profound reasons to associate them. Both wrestle with the challenge of understanding the ways and the extent to which it is possible to anticipate and to shape the future to serve our ends. There are also differences, which stem from Freedman’s own treatment of Machiavelli in Strategy. The analysis brings out the importance of the moral factor for both writers and their engagement with classical sources and literary sources to investigate the problems of power, or war and peace.

Keywords:   Freedman, Machiavelli, Constructivist Realism, Power, War and Peace, Strategy

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