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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Carl Schmitt always presented himself and was above all a jurist. His doctoral dissertation was based on an antiformal theory of law that was also in evidence in his acerbic critics of the League of Nations and the system of control over Germany established in the Treaty of Versailles. This chapter shows that the concrete-order thinking of his later years espoused a more conventional legal realism that has always constituted an important stream of international jurisprudence. Schmitt’s main postwar work, Nomos der Erde, puts forward an influential view of the history of international law as inextricably entangled with the imperial pretensions. This chapter argues that the much-cited book, together with Schmitt’s polemical concept of law and his critiques of the discriminatory concept of war, has proven a fruitful basis for much of today’s postcolonial jurisprudence.

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, history of international law, League of Nations, Nomos der Erde, concept of law, discriminatory concept of war, postcolonial jurisprudence

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