- 10 Medien
- hochgeladen 1. August 2017
The constitutional arrangements of modern governments derive less from the desire to realize the public good than from a fear of the human capacity for evil. This lecture examines the various ways in which political thinkers have managed to exploit this fear to establish a justification for their preferred constitutional form. This lecture will start with Thomas Hobbes’s brilliant device of exploiting our fears of what a lack of order foretells as a way of justifying the establishment of the office of the sovereign. It reveals how similar themes can be seen at work in the arguments of such scholars as Montesquieu, de Tocqueville and Arendt. It concludes with some reflections on how contemporary fears of terrorist threats are used to justify the extension of governments' emergency powers.