August 11, 2011
In a recent review in the New Republic, HLS Professor Adrian Vermeule ’93 examines the book “Machiavellian Democracy” (Cambridge University Press, 2011) by John P. McCormick.
Vermeule suggests that McCormick’s book, which posits that Machiavelli was more of a populist than previous analysts have allowed, “offers a plausible new interpretation of Machiavelli’s democratic theory.”
“The aim is not so much to figure out Machiavelli, but to figure out what to think and do about a problem by drawing upon the intellectual resources to be found in Machiavelli,” Vermeule writes. “The result is a freshness and sensitivity to questions of institutional design that is notably lacking in, say, much of the interminable Rawlsian literature. One hopes that McCormick’s approach will become the professional norm.”
Read the full review here.
Vermeule's forthcoming book is "The System of the Constitution" (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is also the author of “The Executive Unbound: After the Madisonian Republic,” co-written with Eric A. Posner ’91 (Oxford University Press, 2011).