African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 187


Reason of state in the philosophical works of Niccolo Machiavelli

Tadie Degie Yigzaw
  • Tadie Degie Yigzaw
  • Department of Civics and Ethical Studies, College of Social Science and Humanities, Dilla University, P.O. Box 419, Dilla, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 13 June 2017
  •  Accepted: 14 September 2017
  •  Published: 31 December 2017


Every state has its own reason of survival whether it is democratic or undemocratic, constitutional or unconstitutional, tyrannical or republican. Thus, the concept of reason of state depends on the nature of the state. Reason of state in a democratic order is different from that of undemocratic state. This study gave more emphasis on the philosophical works of Niccolo Machiavelli. Based on his philosophical works, the study argue that Machiavelli’s reason of state in The Prince, even though it is implicit, is tyrannical or “reason of power” in its character and not fit for human habituation. On the other hand, his thought in the Discourses promotes constitutional reason of state. As a result, different thinkers considered him as one of the advocator of constitutional reason of state. 
Key words: Reason of state, the prince, the discourses, reason of power.