The concept of raison d’état has been intricately linked to political thought on executive secrecy, suggesting that the preservation of the state may require extraordinary measures, including the withholding of information. While the concept has lost influence in contemporary political thought on account of its tension with democratic requirements of transparency and openness, this chapter shows that its logic still permeates the political practice of democratic states. Based on the analysis of plenary debates in the German Bundestag and of interviews with Members of Parliament and executive actors, it identifies two modern versions of the reason of state argument used by political actors to justify secrecy: the “classic” one that focuses on the (external) preservation of the state, and one that is concerned with the (internal) preservation of democracy, namely the separation of powers. It is demonstrated that in both cases, political actors attempt to legally contain the powers that reason of state politics confers on the executive, thereby trying to offset the anti-democratic characteristics traditionally associated with it.