A Cosmopolitanism of Nations: Giuseppe Mazzini's Writings on Democracy, Nation Building, and International Relations

Princeton University Press
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This anthology gathers Giuseppe Mazzini's most important essays on democracy, nation building, and international relations, including some that have never before been translated into English. These neglected writings remind us why Mazzini was one of the most influential political thinkers of the nineteenth century--and why there is still great benefit to be derived from a careful analysis of what he had to say. Mazzini (1805-1872) is best known today as the inspirational leader of the Italian Risorgimento. But, as this book demonstrates, he also made a vital contribution to the development of modern democratic and liberal internationalist thought. In fact, Stefano Recchia and Nadia Urbinati make the case that Mazzini ought to be recognized as the founding figure of what has come to be known as liberal Wilsonianism.

The writings collected here show how Mazzini developed a sophisticated theory of democratic nation building--one that illustrates why democracy cannot be successfully imposed through military intervention from the outside. He also speculated, much more explicitly than Immanuel Kant, about how popular participation and self-rule within independent nation-states might result in lasting peace among democracies. In short, Mazzini believed that universal aspirations toward human freedom, equality, and international peace could best be realized through independent nation-states with homegrown democratic institutions. He thus envisioned what one might today call a genuine cosmopolitanism of nations.

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About the author

Stefano Recchia is a PhD candidate in political science at Columbia University. Nadia Urbinati is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization and Professor of Political Theory at Columbia.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Aug 17, 2009
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781400831319
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / General
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Democracy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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At the time of his death in March of 1872, The Times of London recorded that "We have to announce to-day the death of a man who in his time has played a most singularly part upon the theatre of European politics; on whose name has for years been regarded as a symbol of revolution." Giuseppe Mazzini's name today is not nearly as familiar to modern readers as he was to avid readers of the mid-Victorian age for his name was virtually synonymous with the revolutionary spirit. To his countrymen, he wrote of the innate duties of man toward God, Country and Humanity. Included in THE DUTIES OF MAN AND OTHER ESSAYS is Mazzini's passionate viewpoint on the political inevitability of The French Revolution of 1789 as well as giving the Italian "workingman" a taste of his revolutionary political ideology on the fundamental rights of individual conscience. GIUSEPPE MAZZINI, 1805-1872, was an Italian nationalist and patriot, who, together with Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso di Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel II, is considered one of the "patron saints" of the Italian Risorgimento. He committed himself passionately to the cause of Italian independence and unity, and as a result, was forced into exile in 1831 for his revolutionary activities. His association, Giovine Italia (Young Italy), founded in the 1830s, attracted adherents throughout the country and among Italian political exiles everywhere. No other Italian Risorgimento leader (with the exception of Giuseppe Garibaldi) enjoyed greater international renown in his time for his revolutionary vision of Italian national unity.
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