To be feared or to be loved? An enduring diplomatic dilemma

“If one of them has to be lacking, it is much safer to be feared than loved” Machiavelli once famously contended after talking note of the presumed fickleness of promises of friendship as opposed to the allegedly enduring magnetism of fear: “for love is sustained by a bond of gratitude which, because men are exclusively self-interested, is broken whenever they see a chance to benefit themselves; but fear is sustained by a dread of punishment that is always effective” (Machiavelli et al. 1988: 59). Setting aside the stringency of Machiavelli’s dichotomy (binary oppositions are, after all, co-constitutive of each other’s meaning), one cannot stop wondering about its enduring relevance in inter

Prof. Corneliu Bjola

I'm an Oxford scholar seeking to make sense of "unknown unknowns" in international diplomacy, a data viz. aficionado, and an unrepentant Big Lebowski fan ("lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-you's..").

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