venerdì 28 settembre 2012

Political Realism: Thucydides and Machiavelli - Course of Excellence at ISTITUTO EUROPEO Florence Italy

What does it mean to be a ‘realist’ in politics and international relations?  This course will examine the work of two seminal thinkers, often thought of as the forefathers of realism: Thucydides and Machiavelli. Thucydides wrote a famous history of the brutal war between Athens and Sparta, exposing for his readers some of the strongest (though not always ethical) motives that drive political leaders and states.  Machiavelli wrote a ‘handbook’ for future princes, detailing cunning ways to obtain and hold onto power.  Both focus on worlds infused with conflict and competition, where morality often seems to have very little influence.  But is there more to these these texts and the men that wrote them?  What might a close reading of the work of Thucydides and Machiavelli reveal about each thinker and what might it change about ‘realist’ thought that is so central to much of IR today.



giovedì 27 settembre 2012

Power and Politics: Plato, Machiavelli, and Locke - Courses of Excellence at ISTITUTO EUROPEO - Florence Italy

Who should wield political power and why? This course will look at this broad question through the work of three major political philosophers: Plato, Machiavelli, and Locke.  Each thinker seems to have a distinctly different idea as to what makes political authority legitimate, yet close readings of their major texts will reveal similarities and overlap even amidst the striking diversity in their outlooks.  We will work chronologically, being sure to place each man in his own historical context.  With this grounding, we will explore the theories espoused, linking ideas both to their cultural milieux and then thinking more abstractly, comparing and contrasting the core principles each promoted.



mercoledì 19 settembre 2012


I started at the school on the 23rd of July 2012. I really enjoyed the lessons and my teacher, Elisabetta, was great. I feel like I learned a lot quickly, having 3 hours of class every day, plus having quite a few classmates to work and study with. I really liked everyone that the school has organised for me to stay with, as well as all the people in my classes.

I started work at Savino del Bene one week after arriving in Italy. Although the work is not exactly in my field (its difficult to get a finance internship in Italy, as they don't like making outsiders privy to private information), I have still really enjoyed working here and definitely don't think I could have found as good an internship myself. The people that I work with are all very friendly and helpful, always listening to me talking my broken Italian and correcting me.