- The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt
- List of Contributors
- Carl Schmitt’s Life: A Chronology
- List of Carl Schmitt’s Writings
- “A Fanatic of Order in an Epoch of Confusing Turmoil”: The Political, Legal, and Cultural Thought of Carl Schmitt
- A “Catholic Layman of German Nationality and Citizenship”?: Carl Schmitt and the Religiosity of Life
- The “True Enemy”: Antisemitism in Carl Schmitt’s Life and Work
- Schmitt’s Diaries
- Carl Schmitt in Plettenberg
- Fearing the Disorder of Things: The Development of Carl Schmitt’s Institutional Theory, 1919–1942
- Carl Schmitt’s Political Theory of Dictatorship
- The Political Theology of Carl Schmitt
- Teaching in Vain: Carl Schmitt, Thomas Hobbes, and the Theory of the Sovereign State
- Concepts of the Political in Twentieth-Century European Thought
- Carl Schmitt’s Defense of Democracy
- Same/Other versus Friend/Enemy: Levinas contra Schmitt
- Carl Schmitt’s Concepts of War: A Categorical Failure
- Carl Schmitt’s Concept of History
- What’s “Left” in Schmitt?: From Aversion to Appropriation in Contemporary Political Theory
- A Jurist Confronting Himself: Carl Schmitt’s Jurisprudential Thought
- Carl Schmitt and the Weimar Constitution
- The Concept of the Rule-of-Law State in Carl Schmitt’s <i>Verfassungslehre</i>
- Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt: Growing Discord, Culminating in the “Guardian” Controversy of 1931
- States of Emergency
- Carl Schmitt and International Law
- Demystifying Schmitt
- Carl Schmitt and Modernity
- Is “the Political” a Romantic Concept?: Novalis’s Faith and Love or The King and Queen with Reference to Carl Schmitt
- Walter Benjamin’s Esteem for Carl Schmitt
- Legitimacy of the Modern Age?: Hans Blumenberg and Carl Schmitt
- Tragedy as Exception in Carl Schmitt’s <i>Hamlet or Hecuba</i>
- At the Limits of Rhetoric: Authority, Commonplace, and the Role of Literature in Carl Schmitt
- Carl Schmitt’s Spatial Rhetoric
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter demystifies Carl Schmitt by interpreting his main insights through the lens of modern social sciences,. There is a large literature in political science on the political foundations of democracy, constitutionalism, and the rule of law. This literature emphasizes that legal rules, by themselves, cannot create a political equilibrium, which always depends on the expectation of political actors that other actors will contribute to preserving the constitutional regime rather than subverting it. This insight allows us to interpret Schmitt’s distinction between legality and legitimacy more concretely than in extant work. There is also a large literature in law and economics on ex ante rules versus ex post standards. Schmitt’s theory of the exception can be understood as an argument that governance through ex post standards, rather than ex ante rules, is inevitable and even desirable where political, economic, or military conditions change rapidly.
Eric Posner is Kirkland & Ellis Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar at the University of Chicago.
Adrian Vermeule is the John H. Watson Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
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