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Encyclopedia of Political Theory

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Encyclopedia of Political Theory

Mark Bevir

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Absolutism

Mark Antaki

Although it need not refer only to monarchical rule, absolutism usually refers to royal absolutism. The rise and peak of the age of royal absolutism is usually located in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe, particularly in France and among such men as Jean Bodin, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, and Louis XIV. The term absolutism , however, entered political discourse only in the eighteenth century, a century sometimes associated with enlightened absolutism. Absolutism is essentially a doctrine about the absence of limits to royal power. It is not, strictly speaking, a doctrine about the origins of royal power: Although absolutist claims were often tied to the ...

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