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The Lesson of Carl Schmitt’s Realism

The Autonomy and the Primacy of the Political

Attila Gyulai

Political realism claims that politics should be understood as politics and not as a derivative of any other field of human activity. While contemporary realists often argue for the autonomy of politics, this article suggests that only the primacy of politics can be the starting point of political realism. The aim of the article is to expose a conceptual deficiency, namely, the unclear difference between the autonomy and the primacy approach in contemporary realist theory by going back to Carl Schmitt’s contribution to political realism. It will be argued that Schmitt’s concept of the political foreshadowed the ambiguities of contemporary realist theory, exemplified by key authors such as Bernard Williams, Raymond Geuss and Mark Philp.

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The Will of the People?

Carl Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Key Question in Democratic Theory

Samuel Salzborn

homogeneous “identity” in the sense of “identicalness” is the work of Carl Schmitt ( Mehring 2009 ; Voigt 2011 ). One step on the way toward Schmitt’s complete conceptual radicalization is represented by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s antiliberal break with the

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Bridging the Political Gaps

The Interdiscursive Qualities of Political Romanticism in the Weimar Republic

Christian E. Roques

movement. Thus, one should not be surprised to see that an author like Carl Schmitt, who developed a radical critique of romantic thought, would try to reduce the corpus to intellectually secondary authors like Adam Müller or Wilhelm Schlegel, whereas a

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'Delinquents, Troublemakers, Pirates and Gangsters'

New Wars in the Postpolitical Borderland

Mikkel Thorup

This article tries to actualize Carl Schmitt's critique of liberal internationalism in what the author calls the 'liberal globalist paradigm', which substitutes a post-sovereign humanitarian-moralist discourse for political arguments. This discourse helps shape a new inequality in the interstate system based on the ability to invoke humanist language; an ability that is systematically skewed in favour of Western states. The post-sovereign discourse hides an aggressive liberal antipluralism which only acknowledges liberal-capitalist societies as legitimate and reserving the right to intervene and criticize globally. The new re-configuration of power manifests itself in the war on terror and in humanitarian interventions.

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Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker, Timo Pankakoski, Burkhard Conrad, Henrik Björck and Bogdan C. Iacob

Samuel Moyn and Andrew Sartori, eds., Global Intellectual History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 342 pp.

Stefan Breuer, Carl Schmitt im Kontext: Intellektuellenpolitik in der Weimarer Republik [Carl Schmitt in context: The politics of intellectuals in the Weimar Republic] (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012), 303 pp.

Olaf Bach, Die Erfindung der Globalisierung: Entstehung und Wandel eines zeitgeschichtlichen Grundbegriffs [The invention of globalization: Emergence and transformation of a contemporary basic concept] (Frankfurt and New York: Campus Verlag, 2013), 270 pp.

Anna Friberg, Demokrati bortom politiken: En begreppshistorisk analys av demokratibegreppet inom Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti 1919–1939 [Democracy beyond politics: An analysis of the concept of democracy within the Swedish Social Democratic Party 1919–1939] (Stockholm: Bokförlaget Atlas, 2012), 314 + [37] pp.

Victor Neumann and Armin Heinen, eds., Key Concepts of Romanian History: Alternative Approaches to Socio-Political Languages (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2013), 516 pp.

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Political Theology

The Authority of God

Avishai Margalit

There are two theses that are intimately related to the idea of authority. One is political theology. It is associated with the name of Carl Schmitt. The second is moral theology. It is associated with Elizabeth Anscombe (though she never used the expression ‘moral theology’). Political theology is the claim that key notions in modern and secular political doctrines are unwittingly moored in theological and teleological world views. These notions in their secularized versions make no sense and can be validated only within a theological frame for which they were designed. ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘authority’ are paradigmatic cases of such key notions. Moral theology is a parallel claim. Key moral notions in modern moral doctrines are moored in a theological and teleological frame. They gain their currency only in such a frame. Unmoored, as these notions are in a current secular frame, they have lost their sense. ‘Obligation’ and ‘duty’ are paradigmatic examples of such notions anchored in the old idea of God the law-giver. Without God the law-giver these notions make very little sense. Secular morality is like the famous explanation of what wireless is. Well, you know what wire is. It is like a dog: you pull its tail in Jerusalem and it barks in Rome. Now, wireless works like wire, but without the dog. Morality without God is like wireless without the dog.

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From Schmitt to Foucault

Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy

Sara Raimondi

-constitutional understanding of exceptionalism by looking at Carl Schmitt’s and Clinton Rossiter’s theories of sovereignty. It underscores how these renditions treat exception as a problem of constitutional forms, which is not in se contradictory of democratic assumptions

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Jean Terrier

lawyer Carl Schmitt (1888–1985). He combated the self-representation of liberalism as a pluralistic doctrine and argued instead that it was fundamentally a theory of social harmony that was incapable of taking conflict seriously. Schmitt argued that

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Creating the People as ‘One’?

On Democracy and Its Other

Marta Nunes da Costa

is possible to constitute and occupy the empty space that ‘the people’ represent. Friends and Enemies Revisited Carl Schmitt, in the beginning of The Concept of the Political , states that ‘[the] specific political distinction to which political

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Theo Jung, Cristian Roiban, Gregor Feindt, Alexandra Medzibrodszky, Henna-Riikka Pennanen and Anna Björk

emphasize the period of National Socialism both as a caesura and, in its aftermath, a major motivating force in the development of historical semantics. Quoting the ancestral lineage of conceptual history (Erich Rothacker, Werner Jaeger, Johannes Kuhn, Carl