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.
Mark E. Warren
Democracy, rule of the people, is comprised of complex webs of accountabilities between people and those who use power to govern on their behalf. Democratic accountability is comprised of justifications for these uses of power, combined with distributions of empowerments in such a way that those affected can sanction its use. Key problems for democracies include forming principals and agents among whom accountability relations might hold, designing institutions that limit costs of accountability mechanisms so they can be used by citizens, and developing forms of accountability that match the increasing scale and complexity of political issues and organizations.
This article examines the linguistic aspects of post-structuralist and liberal pragmatist political theory. It analyses the differences and similarities between post-structuralist philosophy and liberal political theory. It explores the egalitarian and democratic presuppositions of post-structuralist critical strategies and the non-metaphysical and historical conception of liberalism that we find in the late Rawls. It also discusses the relevant works of Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, and John Rawls.
John R. Wallach
This essay discusses the contribution of Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue (1981) to a generation of moral theory. Pitched as a critique of liberal individualism (e.g., Rawls), modernity (e.g., amoral bureaucracies), and the antagonism toward the history of moral theory evinced by analytical philosophers, MacIntyre’s book urges a return toward moral traditions embedded in local communities as the best route to avoid what he regards as the soullessness of modernity and the abyss of Nietzschean philosophy. But his failure to reflect on the political valence of traditions in general or the Aristotelian and Thomist ones he values, seriously compromises his complaints about modernity and his suggestions for ways out.
This chapter identifies some of the conceptual problems in providing a stable, inclusive interpretation of anarchism. It rejects accounts of anarchism constructed on the supposed universal minimum of ‘anti-statism’, as these synthesize radically antipathetic movements, in particular free-market individualisms along with the main socialist variants of anarchist communism and syndicalism. These purportedly comprehensive versions overlook the distinctive conceptual arrangements of social and individualist anarchisms. These separate ideological forms support radically different practices and generate conflicting interpretations of ‘anti-statism’. Instead, a conceptual analytical approach is best suited to identifying stable, intersecting families of anarchism (such as Green anarchism, anarcha-feminism and post-anarchism), as this method is sensitive to the malleable and variable conception of the political agent, which is a feature of the main constellations of social anarchism.
This article discusses anarchy and also introduces recent research from economics that models anarchy. It shows that this research has clear implications for thinking about interstate relations. There are also indications that such relations are becoming greater as well as a fruitful concern.
Gary L. Francione and Anna E. Charlton
The term “animal rights” is used broadly and often inconsistently in discussions of animal ethics. This chapter focuses on seven topics: (1) the pre-nineteenth-century view of animals as things and the emergence of the animal welfare position; (2) the work of Lewis Gompertz and of Henry Salt; (3) the Vegan Society, the Oxford Group, and Peter Singer’s animal liberation theory; (4) Tom Regan’s animal rights theory; (5) the abolitionist animal rights theory; (6) animal rights and the law; and (7) animal rights as a social movement. Herein, “rights” describes the protection of interests irrespective of consequences. The chapter’s position that veganism (not consuming any animal products), is a moral baseline follows from the widely-shared recognition that animals have moral value and are not merely things; veganism is the only rational response to that recognition.
American animal shelters house between six and eight million dogs and cats each year. The question of what to do with millions of healthy but unwanted animals has animated sheltering from the start. Responses reveal how the presence of animals in society shapes institutions, laws, and policies. Pounds emerged to resolve the problems posed by stray animals. Concern for animal welfare created the need and justification for shelters, as humane alternatives to the pounds. Trends in pet-keeping and veterinary medicine shaped twentieth-century sheltering practices, as shelter populations evolved from strays to unwanted pets. Recently, criticism of high euthanasia rates engendered no-kill shelters. The social and cultural significance of animal sheltering lies in the light it sheds on the changing value of companion animals.
Although the presence of animals in our lives seems natural, it is not; it depends on work. But we don’t know what work means for a dog, a horse, or a cow. This chapter proposes a concept of animal work, and argues that there is a subjective involvement of animals in work and intersubjective relations between humans and animals at work. This working is based on a range of structural elements that reflect human work and demonstrate that animals are implicated in work. However, animals also show at work their own way of seeing work according to what the context of production allows, their resistance and their propositions. Faced with an anthropological rupture with animals and the end of domestication, driven by alimentation biotech firms and abolitionists, it is now more important than ever to understand the building blocks of the human-animal bond, such as animal work.