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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

2 - Carl Schmitt: political theology and the concept of the political

Political Theology, first published in 1922, represents Carl Schmitt's most important initial engagement with the theme that was to preoccupy him for most of his life: that of sovereignty, that is, of the locus and nature of the agency that constitutes a political system. Die Diktatur is a theory of dictatorship; Political Theology, however, is a theory of sovereignty and an attempt to locate the state of emergency in a theory of sovereignty. More importantly, Political Theology discusses that which for Schmitt underlies the commissarial and sovereign dictatorship and makes both of them possible. Schmitt's insistence on the necessarily and irreducibly human quality of political and legal actions is a key. Those who would elaborate a set of rules by which decisions can be made take the politics out of human life; Schmitt is concerned to keep them in human life.
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Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century
  • Online ISBN: 9781139028530
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Suggestions for further reading
Schmitt, CarlThe Concept of the PoliticalSchwab, GeorgeChicagoUniversity of Chicago Press 1996
Schmitt, CarlPolitical TheologySchwab, GeorgeChicagoUniversity of Chicago Press 2005
Meier, HeinrichThe Lesson of Carl SchmittChicagoUniversity of Chicago Press 1998
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