Hobbes on the State

04.27.2020 - By Talking Politics: HISTORY OF IDEAS

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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.

Free online version of the text:
-  https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3207/3207-h/3207-h.htm
Recommended version to purchase: 
- https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/politics-international-relations/texts-political-thought/hobbes-leviathan-revised-student-edition?format=PB
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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