A “Catholic Layman of German Nationality and Citizenship”?: Carl Schmitt and the Religiosity of Life
Carl Schmitt positioned his constitutional theory in the context of a “political theology” and referred to himself repeatedly as a Catholic. Schmitt scholarship has long pursued this self-depiction without establishing a convincing “Catholic” doctrine, political position, or life praxis. This chapter provides an overview and critical interrogation of Schmitt’s self-description. By emphasizing his political and theological distance from his early background and from the political Catholicism of the interwar period, the chapter analyzes his systematic connection of theism, personalism, and decisionism, and considers Schmitt as a “religious” author and person. Schmitt’s apocalyptically dramatized perception and stylization of life as a permanent “state of exception” can be seen as a religious practice of testing contingency and sovereignty and self-assigning to “salvation.” Schmitt must thus be understood not as a part of majority Catholicism, but beyond it, among the religious movements in the history of modern secular faith.
“A Fanatic of Order in an Epoch of Confusing Turmoil”: The Political, Legal, and Cultural Thought of Carl Schmitt
Jens Meierhenrich and Oliver Simons
This handbook engages with the critical ordering of Schmitt’s writings, investing in the proper contextualization of his polycentric thought. More important than whether Schmitt’s positions and concepts are relevant in the twenty-first century is how to read Schmitt so as to grasp the original meanings of his many publications. The handbook intends to provoke debate about the relevance of his canon for thinking about the present. It argues that the motif of order is central to making sense of Schmitt’s contributions to law, the social sciences, and the humanities, as well as that his contributions to diverse disciplines constituted a trinity of thought. Schmitt’s political thought cannot be understood without reference to his legal and cultural thought; his legal thought was informed equally by his political and cultural thought; and his cultural thought contains important traces of his political and legal thought. This theoretical and substantive overlap was deliberate.
Lisbeth Aggestam and Adrian Hyde-Price
This chapter examines the politics of Swedish military activism and the paradoxes they involve. Since the end of the Cold War, Sweden has been involved a range of international military operations—from Bosnia and Congo to Afghanistan and Libya—that are very different from traditional peacekeeping. We argue that this military activism is driven both by the Swedish internationalist tradition of “doing good” in the world, but also for instrumental purposes. These include a desire for political influence in international institutions, an interest in collective milieu shaping, and a concern to improve the interoperability and effectiveness of the Swedish military.
“A Very British Institution”: The Intelligence and Security Committee and Intelligence Accountability in the United Kingdom
This article discusses Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) and intelligence accountability in the United Kingdom. It discusses the origins of intelligence oversight in the United Kingdom including ISC's independence, its ability to maintain secrets, its means of access to information, and its expertise and investigative powers. The article also discusses the reforms undertaken by the ISC to retain public confidence in the committee such as recognizing its limitations and imposing accountability.
This chapter comments on Aaron Wildavsky’s seminal work, The Politics of the Budgetary Process, an in-depth look at the norms and rules of budgeting in the United States and the stable patterns of interaction between the various actors involved. Considered a classic of public administration scholarship, the book uses a simple yet fundamental theoretical framework for analyzing budgetary decisions. After summarizing the basic elements of Wildavsky’s theory of budgetary incrementalism, the chapter discusses challenges to incrementalism that arose mainly in the context of economic and fiscal crisis that influenced the way the federal government made budgetary decisions. It then considers the relevance and importance of Wildavsky’s work on the politics of the budgetary process by highlighting several elements that have had profound implications for scholarship on budgeting.
This article discusses the concept of institution by examining the components of an institution and the way in which institutionalization can increase or decrease. It considers the place to be given to organizations and to procedures based on the definition of institutions. It reveals the major differences across the social sciences and in particular political, social, and economic fields. The article is also concerned with institutionalization, and reveals marked differences among the social sciences.
The debate concerning how water access, availability, and change will impact conflict is bolstered by growing evidence that some influence exists, however inconsistent. Clear conclusions are obscured by the variety of water issues in developing countries, the difference between direct and indirect effects on conflict, and the additional uncertainty of what future climate changes may do to water availability and rights. This chapter summarizes how the conflict literature has integrated water issues into analyses of violence. In contrast, water researchers are mainly concerned with how little and how poorly water resources are used and managed across Africa. Resource management and politics emerge as the most serious contributors to water stress. Initial conclusions suggest that climate change and associated water shortages are far less of a problem than access and scarcity, and that water politics is leading to new contests, possibly violent, embedded in patterns of marginalization, exclusion, and poor governance.
Kevin J. Krizek and David M. Levinson
This article focuses on the access objective of urban planning. It aims to articulate a clear role for measures of metropolitan accessibility, and to demonstrate the utility of these measures in informing and influencing policy. The article describes the use and measurement of accessibility for metropolitan areas, evaluates the current state of knowledge and literature, and identifies important issues about measurement. It suggests that problem definitions should be reformed to bring them in line with current transportation goals and argues that the concept of accessibility may offer a compelling, attractive, and alternative basis for policies related to the built environment when operationalized using cumulative-opportunities measures.
Johan P. Olsen
Ambiguity is intrinsic to life. Yet, mainstream accountability theory reduces its area of application by not taking ambiguity seriously. The literature treats too many aspects as exogenous to politics and is unlikely to capture accountability dynamics in contemporary representative democracies in transformation, including the European Union. Theorizing accountability requires going beyond predetermined principals and agents, detecting deviance from authoritative orders and rules, and disciplining unruly agents. An institutional perspective is offered, relaxing assumptions regarding what accountability means and implies; what is involved in demanding, rendering, assessing and responding to accounts; what factors foster effective accountability; and how accountability regimes emerge and change. The fluidity and unresolved conflicts of political life make it difficult to correctly assign causal responsibility and to learn from experience. Accountability processes, nevertheless, provide occasions for searching for and testing collective purpose, intelligence, meaning and political equality, as part of institutionalization and de-institutionalization processes.
This chapter advances three claims. First, it argues that the concepts of accountability and blame-avoidance have much in common and can be understood as mirror-image concepts for the “sanction-imposing” sense of accountability and the sense of blame avoidance that denotes outcome rather than activity. Second, it argues that there are different ways of conceiving and defining both concepts in their respective analytic literatures, and the mirror-image relationship tends to disappear once we move to those alternatives, particularly of accountability conceived as answerability and blame-avoidance conceived as activity rather than outcome. Third, it argues that cultural theory analysis can identify variants of both accountability and blame-avoidance which can deepen understanding of both the mirror-image aspects of the two phenomena and of relationships between them that go beyond a mirror-image.