Collingwood's New Leviathan and classical elite theory

History of European Ideas 45 (7):1029-1044 (2019)
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Abstract

ABSTRACTR. G. Collingwood's New Leviathan 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.

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