Michelle T. Clarke

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Government

My research focuses on the history of republican political thought and debates about the meaning of liberty in ancient Rome and Renaissance Florence.  I have a particular interest in Machiavelli's contribution to these debates, together with his enduring legacy in the modern political tradition.  I'm drawn to Machiavelli's political 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.  


Silsby, Room 205
HB 6108




  • B.A. Tufts University
  • M.A. Yale University
  • M. Phil. Yale University
  • Ph.D. Yale University

Selected Publications

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Works In Progress

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)

"Ethics and the Supremely Powerful: Epicureanism and the Problem of Political Ambition in Cicero's De finibus 2" (article, in progress)

"Style and the Soul" (article, in progress)