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.
Monica Tabengwa and Matthew Waites
This chapter considers sexualities and genders in Africa by exploring the relationship between precolonial, colonial, and current forms of regulation. The field of research on sexual and gender diversity in Africa is introduced, including African lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and intersex (LGBTI) and queer research, with an emphasis on the need to challenge homogenizing characterizations of “homophobic Africa.” Differences between European colonialisms—such as the British, French, and Portuguese—are noted, with the British as the source of the most extensive legal criminalization of same-sex acts. Regarding recent developments, there is discussion of Uganda as a particularly concerning context, with the Anti-Homosexuality Act briefly passed into law in 2014, though later struck down by that country’s Supreme Court. The passage of Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in 2014 has similarly reflected homophobic state action. Yet it is also possible to note decriminalizations of same-sex sexual acts in several states including South Africa, Lesotho, the Seychelles, and Mozambique. Examples from Botswana and Kenya are used to discuss the value of strategic litigation in the courts as a way to achieve change. A final section discusses how African international governmental organizations, particularly the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, have become a focus for claims by organizations such as the Coalition of African Lesbians. The recent withdrawal observer status from the Coalition of African Lesbians occurred in a context of pressure from the African Union and exemplifies current tensions and conflicts in the continent.
This chapter discusses and brings together two lines of research on global justice—the first on aiding the poor and the second on obligations to those in future generations. This is important as almost any way we try to aid the poor will have a significant impact on poor people in future as well as on present generations. In surveying the literature, the chapter defends a few principles for aiding the poor in present and future generations. It also presents a highly abstract model for testing and thinking through the consequences of such principles that might help arbitrate between principles.
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.
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.
This chapter contrasts the dominant sense of the phrase “animals as legal subjects,” which minimizes fundamental protections for nonhuman animals, with alternative senses of the same phrase that focus on nonhuman animals’ realities, such as consciousness and intelligence. Support for the alternatives comes from developments within different domains, including legal education and society more broadly, where the meaning of such phrases as “legal person,” “legal personhood,” and “legal rights” is being debated regarding companion animals, wildlife, and many other forms of life. The upshot of the debate taking place over the status of nonhuman animals in law and broader phenomenon of human exceptionalism is a wide-ranging discussion of additional forms of animal protection.
For all recorded history domestic animals have been considered objects within the legal system, classified as personal property, the primary focus being on what an owner can do with property or how an owner can protect property from intrusions of others or the government. More recently, our society has developed a new perspective, focusing not on the owners’ rights but on the animals themselves and what level of protection and concern they should be given, regardless of the issue of ownership. To aid in the process of giving animals more visibility within the legal system, it is necessary to remove them from the category of personal property and place them in a new category of “living property.” Once this happens, the allocation of legal rights to domestic animals can begin on a clean slate allowing the issues of animal rights and legal personhood to be directly addressed.
The chapter addresses the topic of animals as scientific objects by drawing on recent literature that emphasizes the heterogeneous construction—or eventuation—of the object. As such, the animal object is understood to emerge from a version of biomedical science that encompasses various elements that derive from within and beyond the laboratory and the experimental system. The chapter thus traces a number of ways the animal is eventuated as an object, including the processes of animal supply and scientist self-selection, the procedures of animal care and ethical assessment, and the prospects of collaboration and clinical translation. Along the way, the chapter points to the complex and conjoint eventuation of animals as subjects and of humans as objects. The chapter ends with a brief reflection on how we might better engage with the complex ethics of the co-becomings of human and animal, objects and subjects.
A discrepancy exists between the legal and perceived status of livestock. Legally, food animals are property, but their thing-like status is unstable and does not determine how they are perceived in practice. The extent to which food animals are regarded as commodities or sentient beings is therefore contextually contingent, oscillates, and is riddled with inconsistency. To understand livestock as a sentient commodity is to attend to, and (re)contextualize, the contradictory and changeable nature of the perceived status of commodified animals in food animal productive contexts, and to how stockpeople experience and manage this perceptual paradox in practice. Bringing to the fore the relatively mundane aspect of human-livestock relations not only upsets commonly held assumptions that productive animals are nothing more than mere commodities, it also highlights the non-productive aspects of stockpeople’s roles that have, to date, been typically overlooked or underexplored.
Stephen R. L. Clark
Both “animals” and “religion” are contentious concepts, with many possible meanings and associations. This chapter takes animals to be eukaryotes distinct from protists, plants and fungi, and “religion” as the attempt to “live a dream.” I describe four principal ways of dreaming animals: triumphalist humanism (for which only “human” beings are of any interest); traditional notions of good husbandry (which requires “human” beings to care for the non-human, within limits set by human interests); notions of metempsychosis and transformation (where “human” and “non-human” are constantly shifting characters); and awakening to the real presence of others, and so—paradoxically—evacuating them of merely “religious” meaning.
This chapter analyzes the expansion of same-sex marriage around the world, its causes and its consequences. It argues that the domestic and transnational factors shaping a country’s adoption of same-sex marriage depend crucially on both time and place, encompassing the domestic and the transnational. It further suggests that the effects of same-sex marriage are likewise context-dependent, in most cases producing mixed results for LGBTQ people and movements. Incorporating cases outside of western Europe and the United States, this study urges a broader lens and a new focus on the short-term and long-term political effects of pursuing marriage equality.
Severe poverty is a key challenge for theorists of global justice. Most theorists have approached this issue primarily by developing accounts for understanding which kinds of duties have relevance and how responsibilities for tackling severe poverty might be assigned to agents, whether individuals, nations, or states. All such views share a commitment to ending severe poverty as a wrongful deprivation with a profoundly negative impact on affected individuals. While much attention has prioritized identifying reasons for others to provide relief, this chapter examines the nature of the wrongful deprivation that characterizes severe poverty. One influential view is championed by Martha Nussbaum in her distinctive capabilities approach. An individual might be considered to experience severe poverty where she is unable to enjoy the use of the capabilities which should be available to her. But this position raises several questions. Take the fact that about 1 billion people are unable to meet their basic needs today. Would the capabilities approach claim the number is much higher given its wider grasp of human flourishing beyond mere material subsistence—and what implications would flow from this? Or would the capabilities approach claim only a portion of those unable to meet their basic needs are in a wrongful state because their circumstances are a result of free choice—and what would this mean? These questions indicate a potential concern about whether the approach is over- or underinclusive and why.
Carl Schmitt’s political and juridical thought is anchored in a specific diagnosis of modernity. He develops the concept of the political because of how the location and address of the political become fundamentally questionable under modern conditions. Romanticism disempowers the state, the government, indeed all political-public structures and processes, turning them into mere “scenery” or simulacrums that hide an actual or substantial reality. This chapter traces the continued effects of Schmitt’s thought on various diagnoses of a political dialectic of modernity. Each has the changing form and function of sovereign power at its center. The work of Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, and Zygmunt Bauman shows that Schmitt’s thought is applicable to the paradox by which sovereign power of decision continues to have a latent effect under the conditions of a constitutional state.
Ulrich K. Preuß
This chapter explores Carl Schmitt’s response as a political, legal, and constitutional theorist to the permanent crisis of the Weimar Republic during its short-lived existence between 1919 and 1933. On the foundation of his conceptual edifice, it shows why Schmitt came to the conclusion that the Weimar Constitution did not provide an appropriate political system for the German people in their “natural” form. While the founders of Weimar sought to protect the polity’s diversity and contradictions, Schmitt regarded their constitution as inherently nondemocratic. A focal point of the analysis is Schmitt’s claim that democracy and dictatorship are by no means mutually exclusive. The chapter demonstrates why Schmitt’s faith in the constituent power of a homogenous German people invariably led to his preference for “democratic dictatorship” and a rejection of the Weimar constitution’s system of parliamentary democracy.
This chapter focuses on Carl Schmitt’s years in post–World War II Germany. After being released from the Nuremberg prison for war criminals, Schmitt returned to his birthplace, Plettenberg, and named his house “San Casciano,” invoking a village in Tuscany where Machiavelli spent his final years. Like Schmitt, Machiavelli too was deprived of public office, in the Florentine city-state. While other intellectuals who had sympathized with the Nazis—Martin Heidegger, Gottfried Benn, and Ernst Jünger, among others—returned to the public sphere soon after 1945, Schmitt’s fate was different. This chapter reconstructs Schmitt’s Plettenberg years in letters, journals, and reports from companions and shows how his reputation changed from a “monster” to a myth. Even in his private years, Schmitt remained a public figure, fascinating to friends and foes. The controversies with his fiercest enemies in particular renewed his fame.
Carl Schmitt accommodated himself to the ascendency of democratic thinking in the post–World War I world of the 1920s. No sovereign authority, he argued, could fail to acknowledge “the people” as the constituent power of an established political order. Consequently, democracy and “the political” become synonymous in his Constitutional Theory (1928). To champion democracy, however, Schmitt emphasized the historical distinction between democracy, based on equality and homogeneity of the collective, and liberalism, which features the primacy of the private individual’s liberty. This chapter shows that key to understanding Schmitt’s defense of democracy against liberalism are his notions of representation, acclamation, and plebiscitary leadership, as well as a strong sense of the public persona of the citizen. The chapter argues that even though we shun his reading of democracy today, a full understanding of the liberal-democratic compromise that we now call democracy benefits from a close reading of Schmitt.
Cetacean cognition at the level of the individual is complex and highly sophisticated and shares a number of characteristics with human and other great ape cognitive features. At the same time, in the social setting, capacities and propensities appear to emerge that are unique to cetaceans. This chapter explores cetacean cognition at the levels of the individual (language, pointing and reference, self-awareness, innovation and imitation, body image, self-recognition, self-imitation, and metacognition) and the social group (social complexity and networking, culture) and concludes that dolphins can only thrive as reflexive thinkers in a natural social group. Dolphins in captivity often suffer from psychological disturbances and abnormalities, poor health, and, ultimately, high mortality rates.
How best to response to climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing us all. Proposed solutions come in one of two approaches. The first is conservationist, seeking to minimize these effects by reducing, if not eliminating, them by bringing climate change to a stop. The second is focused specifically on adaptation mostly through technological advances to help us endure climate change by minimizing its effects. The dilemma for these proposed solutions is in their aim of being a solution to the problems that climate change brings. In short, they mistake the kind of challenge that climate change presents us. This is what I call the problem of “end-state” solutions. It is where we attempt to bring to an end a circumstance that might be influenced positively or otherwise by our activities, but beyond our full control. So to claim a so-called “solution” to such an ever-changing problem could make it better or worse without concluding it. If climate change is this kind of problem—and I will claim it is—then end-state “solutions” can be no more than a band-aid and the nature of our challenge is different, requiring an alternative future strategy. This chapter will set out how the problem of climate change is understood through attempted solutions that do not succeed. It concludes with some ideas about why this matters and the arising implications for how we should think about climate change justice beyond the false prism of end-state solutions.
This chapter develops a critical theory of transnational justice. Its normative basis is a democratic conception of justice as justification grounded in a constructivist conception of reason which is at the same time “realistic” when it comes to assessing the current world order as one of multiple forms of domination. In its critical parts, the chapter discusses a number of conceptions of justice that are parochial or positivistic in insufficiently questioning certain normative and empirical premises and thus miss the nature of forms of injustice beyond the state. In the constructive parts, it presents a reflexive argument for a discursive conception of justice. This theory is then situated in transnational contexts of rule and domination, arguing for principles and institutions of fundamental transnational justice.
Discussions of the relationship between justice and democracy are generally premised on the assumption that they are two different things, only contingently and externally related. As a result, genuine conflicts seem possible whereby we are forced to decide whether democracy should trump justice or whether justice has priority over democracy. By focusing on the work of Jürgen Habermas and Rainer Forst, this chapter aims to show that deliberative democracy can provide a constructivist conception of justice which challenges this premise by explaining the internal relationship between justice and democracy. There is no justice without democracy in the sense that only citizens can democratically determine the specific content of justice. At the same time, there is also no democracy without justice in the sense that democratic outcomes are legitimate only to the extent that they can be understood as proper elaborations of the substantive but abstract ideal of justice-as-impartiality.