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Collingwood's New Leviathan and classical elite theory

Fear, Christopher

Authors



Abstract

R. G. Collingwood's New Leviathan (1942) presents an account of two ‘dialectical’ political processes that are ongoing in any body politic. Existing scholarship has already covered the first: a dialectic between a ‘social’ and a ‘non-social’ element, which Collingwood identifies in Hobbes. This essay elucidates a second: a dialectic between Liberals and Conservatives, which regulates the ‘percolation’ of liberty and the rate of recruitment into what Collingwood calls ‘the ruling class’. The details of this second dialectic are to be found not in Hobbes, but in the work of Vilfredo Pareto and Gaetano Mosca, yet Collingwood's connections to these fathers of ‘classical elite theory’ have not previously been discussed.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal History of European Ideas
Print ISSN 0191-6599
Electronic ISSN 1873-541X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-16
APA6 Citation Fear, C. (in press). Collingwood's New Leviathan and classical elite theory. History of European ideas, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2019.1628582
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/01916599.2019.1628582
Keywords R. G. Collingwood; Gaetano Mosca; Vilfredo Pareto; Elites; Ruling class; Aristocracy
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01916599.2019.1628582