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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a longitudinal analysis of Carl Schmitt’s institutional theory. It provides a detailed road map for the period under investigation, examining critical junctures and theoretical turns along the way. Two principal arguments are advanced. First, the chapter departs from conventional analyses according to which Schmitt only embarked on an “institutional turn” in the early 1930s. Instead of conceiving of Schmitt’s institutionalism as an intellectual stage of his thought, the chapter posits that it constituted—as his predominant theoretical approach—its essence. Second, the chapter argues and demonstrates that Schmitt’s institutional theory underwent a gradual transformation, from pragmatist institutionalism to extremist institutionalism. Taking a leaf from the late Hans Mommsen, the chapter argues that the development of Schmitt’s institutional theory was subject to a cumulative radicalization.

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, dictatorship, the state, institution, constitution, Catholic Church, Reich, international law, National Socialism, institutionalism

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