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Absolutism as political language in early modern European discourse on statecraft (Absolutism)
Start date: 05 Jan 2009, End date: 04 Jan 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The chief goal of the project is to provide a thorough, accurate and historiographically timely study of the political language of “early modern European absolutism”. Covering a major scholarly gap, my research explores the political vocabularies and philosophical paradigms employed by English, French and Spanish absolutist theorists to defend the cause of an unrestrained monarchy depicted along patriotic lines. In so doing, the research will illuminate an important tradition of political thinking whose doctrines largely contributed to shape the European political landscape in the early modern period and also influenced the reflection of major philosophers in the last three centuries. The most interesting question to which my project will provide an answer concerns analogies and differences characterising the elaboration of absolute rulership in the historically decisive period 1570-1640. Thanks to a systematic series of inter-textual analyses, I will discern continuities and breaks informing the narrative of absolute power articulated by different European thinkers. This will enable me to depict a groundbreaking fresco of early modern political absolutism, undertaking thus a work similar to that achieved in the field of republican studies and contractual theories by eminent Sussex scholars like Professor Knud Haakonssen and Dr. Richard Whatmore. My research will fully attain the objectives of the IEF by promoting a stimulating dialogue between academic communities across the Continent; by supporting a broader approach to the analysis of political doctrines so as to provide an indispensable tool to understand European history and its cultural heritage; by contributing to my scholarly development and mobility in light of my further research and future independent academic career. Finally, thanks to the support of the History Department at Sussex, I envisage the completion of a book and the publication of numerous articles.
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