The Reason of State

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For the political concept, see National interest.

The Reason of State (Italian: Della Ragion di Stato) is a work of political philosophy by Italian Jesuit Giovanni Botero. Reason of state denotes a way of thinking about government that emerges at the end of the fifteenth century and remains prevalent until the eighteenth century. It refers to the right of rulers to act in ways that go counter to the dictates of both natural and positive law with the aim of acquiring, preserving, and augmenting the dominion of the state. It was first published in Venice in 1589, and is most notable for criticizing methods of statecraft associated with Machiavelli and presenting economics as an aspect of politics.