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In this, his most influential work, legal theorist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt argues that liberalism’s basis in individual rights cannot provide a reasonable justification for sacrificing oneself for the state—a critique as cogent today as when it first appeared. George Schwab’s introduction to his translation of the 1932 German edition highlights Schmitt’s intellectual journey through the turbulent period of German history leading to the Hitlerian one-party state. In addition to analysis by Leo Strauss and a foreword by Tracy B. Strong placing Schmitt’s work into contemporary context, this expanded edition also includes a translation of Schmitt’s 1929 lecture “The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations,” which the author himself added to the 1932 edition of the book. An essential update on a modern classic, The Concept of the Political, Expanded Edition belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in political theory or philosophy.
Writing in 1938, under the guise of studying the significance of the symbol of the leviathan in Thomas Hobbes's theory of the state, Carl Schmitt, the Hobbes of the 20th century, provides insights into totalitarian forms of government, attacks totalitarianism, and alludes to the demise of the Third Reich.
Now available in English for the first time, Dictatorship is Carl Schmitt’s most scholarly book and arguably a paradigm for his entire work. Written shortly after the Russian Revolution and the First World War, Schmitt analyses the problem of the state of emergency and the power of the Reichspräsident in declaring it. Dictatorship, Schmitt argues, is a necessary legal institution in constitutional law and has been wrongly portrayed as just the arbitrary rule of a so-called dictator. Dictatorship is an essential book for understanding the work of Carl Schmitt and a major contribution to the modern theory of a democratic, constitutional state. And despite being written in the early part of the twentieth century, it speaks with remarkable prescience to our contemporary political concerns.
In this strikingly original work, Paul W. Kahn rethinks the meaning of political theology. In a text innovative in both form and substance, he describes an American political theology as a secular inquiry into ultimate meanings sustaining our faith in the popular sovereign. Kahn works out his view through an engagement with Carl Schmitt's 1922 classic, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. He forces an engagement with Schmitt's four chapters, offering a new version of each that is responsive to the American political imaginary. The result is a contemporary political theology. As in Schmitt's work, sovereignty remains central, yet Kahn shows how popular sovereignty creates an ethos of sacrifice in the modern state. Turning to law, Kahn demonstrates how the line between exception and judicial decision is not as sharp as Schmitt led us to believe. He reminds readers that American political life begins with the revolutionary willingness to sacrifice and that both sacrifice and law continue to ground the American political imagination. Kahn offers a political theology that has at its center the practice of freedom realized in political decisions, legal judgments, and finally in philosophical inquiry itself.
A recent trend in contemporary western political theory is to criticize it for implicitly trying to "conquer," "displace" or "moralize" politics. James Wiley’s book takes the "next step," from criticizing contemporary political theory, to showing what a more "politics-centered" political theory would look like by exploring the meaning and value of politics in the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, Paul Ricoeur, Hannah Arendt, Sheldon Wolin, Claude Lefort, and Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. These political theorists all use the concept of "the political" to explain the value of politics and defend it from its detractors. They represent state-centered, republic-centered and society-centered conceptions of politics, as well as realist, authoritarian, idealist, republican, populist and radical democratic traditions of political thought. This book compares these theorists and traditions of "the political" in order to defend politics from its critics and to contribute to the development of a politics-centered political theory. Politics and the Concept of the Political will be a useful resource to general audiences as well as to specialists in political theory.
Carl Schmitt was the most famous and controversial defender of political theology in the twentieth century. But in his best-known work, The Concept of the Political, issued in 1927, 1932, and 1933, political considerations led him to conceal the dependence of his political theory on his faith in divine revelation. In 1932 Leo Strauss published a critical review of Concept that initiated an extremely subtle exchange between Schmitt and Strauss regarding Schmitt’s critique of liberalism. Although Schmitt never answered Strauss publicly, in the third edition of his book he changed a number of passages in response to Strauss’s criticisms. Now, in this elegant translation by J. Harvey Lomax, Heinrich Meier shows us what the remarkable dialogue between Schmitt and Strauss reveals about the development of these two seminal thinkers. Meier contends that their exchange only ostensibly revolves around liberalism. At its heart, their “hidden dialogue” explores the fundamental conflict between political theology and political philosophy, between revelation and reasonand ultimately, the vital question of how human beings ought to live their lives. “Heinrich Meier’s treatment of Schmitt’s writings is morally analytical without moralizing, a remarkable feat in view of Schmitt’s past. He wishes to understand what Schmitt was after rather than to dismiss him out of hand or bowdlerize his thoughts for contemporary political purposes.”—Mark Lilla, New York Review of Books
Writings on War collects three of Carl Schmitt's most important and controversial texts, here appearing in English for the first time: The Turn to the Discriminating Concept of War, The Großraum Order of International Law, and The International Crime of the War of Aggression and the Principle "Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege". Written between 1937 and 1945, these works articulate Schmitt's concerns throughout this period of war and crisis, addressing the major failings of the League of Nations, and presenting Schmitt's own conceptual history of these years of disaster for international jurisprudence. For Schmitt, the jurisprudence of Versailles and Nuremberg both fail to provide for a stable international system, insofar as they attempt to impose universal standards of ‘humanity' on a heterogeneous world, and treat efforts to revise the status quo as ‘criminal' acts of war. In place of these flawed systems, Schmitt argues for a new planetary order in which neither collective security organizations nor 19th century empires, but Schmittian ‘Reichs' will be the leading subject of international law. Writings on War will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the work of Carl Schmitt, the history of international law and the international system, and interwar European history. Not only do these writings offer an erudite point of entry into the dynamic and charged world of interwar European jurisprudence; they also speak with prescience to a 21st century world struggling with similar issues of global governance and international law.

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