National Interest is a rationality of governing referring to a sovereign state's goals and ambitions, be they economic, military, cultural, or otherwise.
The expression "reason of state" (Ragion di Stato) was first popularised by Italian political thinker Giovanni Botero, and championed by Italian diplomat and political thinker Niccolò Machiavelli. Prominently, Chief Minister Cardinal Richelieu justified France's intervention on the Protestant side, despite its own Catholicism, in the Thirty Years' War as being in the national interest in order to block the increasing power of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor. At Richelieu's prompting, Jean de Silhon defended the concept of raison d'État as "a mean between what conscience permits and affairs require."
Within the field of international relations, the national interest has frequently been assumed to comprise the pursuit power, security and wealth. Neorealist and liberal institutionalist scholars tend to define the national interest as revolving around security. Liberal scholars see national interests as an aggregation of the preferences of domestic political groups. Constructivist scholars reject that the national interest of states are static and can be assumed a priori; rather, they argue that the preferences of states are shaped through social interactions and are changeable.
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