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My research focuses on the history of political thought and especially the reception of classical ideas in Renaissance Florence. I have a particular interest in Machiavelli's engagement with Roman political ideas. I'm drawn to Machiavelli's thought because it reflects my own sense that political theory, done properly, refuses to abstract from the messy, inconvenient, and often distasteful realities of political life. For Machiavelli, as for me, the work of political theory is to guide us through this world, mindful of the possibility that it may speak to us in a different voice than moral philosophy.
Michelle T. Clarke. Machiavelli's Florentine Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2018).
Michelle T. Clarke, "Boni Gone Bad: Cicero's Critique of Epicureanism in De Finibus I and II," Polis. Forthcoming.
Michelle T. Clarke. "Curing Virtue: Epicureanism and Erotic Fantasy in Machiavelli's Mandragola," Political Theory 50, no. 6 (2022): 913-938.
Michelle T. Clarke. "Machiavelli's Virtuous Princes: Rhetoric, Power, and the Politics of Ironic Historiography." Journal of Politics 84, no. 1 (2022): 483-495.
Rival Republicanisms: Machiavelli and the Ciceronian Tradition (book project, in progress)
The Oxford History of Political Thought: The Renaissance, 1400-1517 (book project, under contract)
"Style and the Soul in Renaissance Humanism" (article, in progress)