Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CRRS Friday Workshop: Daniel Schwartz – “The Ethics of Electoral Bribing in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century: Francisco Suárez and Other Late Scholastics”

October 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

suarezThe Ethics of Electoral Bribing in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Francisco Suárez and Other Late Scholastics

Daniel Schwartz
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Political Science & International Relations

Elections predate the advent of modern democracy. Unbeknownst to many scholars, late scholastic authors, such as Francisco Suárez, carefully discussed the moral duties and rights of both candidates and voters. My paper brings to the fore these late scholastic engagements with electoral moral dilemmas. I focus on the question: when—if ever—is it morally permissible for the best electoral candidate to offer money to electors?

This was a pressing question for the late scholastics because, on one hand, they believed that electors have a moral duty to vote for the best candidate, and consequently that the best candidate has a correlative right to be voted for. On the other hand, attempting to buy votes was deemed to display a demeaning attitude towards office by treating it as commensurate with temporal goods. I analyze the late scholastics’ efforts to carve out some moral space so as to allow the best electoral candidate to vindicate his rights by using money without thereby incurring vote buying.


Daniel Schwartz is a Senior Lecturer at the Departments of Political Science and International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of Aquinas on Friendship (OUP, 2007) and the editor of Interpreting Suarez (CUP, 2011). His main field of research is late scholastic ethics and political thought with a focus on  just war theory.


October 2, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: