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.
The Autonomy and the Primacy of the Political
Carl Schmitt and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on a Key Question in Democratic Theory
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
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
On Reinhart Koselleck's Intellectual Relations to Carl Schmitt
Jan Eike Dunkhase, ed., Reinhart Koselleck/Carl Schmitt: Der Briefwechsel 1953–1983 [Reinhart Koselleck/Carl Schmitt: The correspondence 1953–1983] (Berlin: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2019), 459 pp. Sebastian Huhnholz, Von Carl Schmitt zu Hannah
New Wars in the Postpolitical Borderland
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.
The Case of Germany
democracy. Is this harmful for a democratic order based on the rule of law in emergency situations as well? Is the sovereign really the one who decides on the state of exception as the controversial legal theorist Carl Schmitt put it in his Political
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 +  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.
Tina Campt: Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender, and Memory in the Third Reich (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press 2004)
Review by Kader Konuk
Agnes C. Mueller, ed., German Pop Culture: How “American” Is It? (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2004)
Review by Barbara Mennel
David Crew, ed., Consuming Germany in the Cold War (Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers, 2003)
Review by Jennifer Jenkins
Paul Lerner, Hysterical Men. War, Psychiatry, and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1890-1930 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003)
Review by Frank Biess
Pertti Ahonen, After the Expulsion. West Germany and Eastern Europe 1945–1990, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
Review by Henning Süssner
Jan-Werner Müller, A Dangerous Mind: Carl Schmitt in Postwar European Thought (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003)
Review by Peter C. Caldwell
Gerhard Hirscher and Karl-Rudolf Korte, eds., Information und Entscheidung: Kommunikationsmanagement der Politisichen Führung (Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag GmbH, 2003)
Review by Steven A. Weldon
The Authority of God
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.
Inquiring the Relationship between Exception and Democracy
-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