Machiavellianism

Discipline: Political Science

Pejorative term to describe beliefs or conduct allegedly derived from the views of Italian political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli (1429-1527).

The end justifies the means, and moral considerations should be subordinated to the achievement of material or political goals. Used in this way, the term is a parody of the views actually expressed by Machiavelli.

Source:
David Miller, ed., The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)

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