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.
This chapter was inspired by reading a number of contributions to The Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics and asks three interconnected questions: How can one best understand the range of experiences of and the attitudes toward people whose sexual orientation or gender expression is regarded as diverging from socially prescribed norms? Is the language of sexual rights the most appropriate in defending sexual and gender diversity when there appears to be growing global polarization around issues of sexuality? And how do we reconcile the growing gap between academic and activist understandings of sexual diversity and rights?
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.
Contemporary theoretical debates surrounding accountability in global economic governance have often adopted a problem-focused analytical lens—centred on real-world political controversies surrounding the accountability of global governing authorities. This chapter explores four distinctive problems of global accountability for which empirical inquiry has usefully informed normative analysis: first, the problem of unaccountable power within global governance processes; second, the problem of decentred political authority in global governance; third, problems establishing appropriate foundations of social power through which normatively desirable transnational accountabilities can be rendered practically effective at multiple scales; finally, problems associated with the need to traverse significant forms of social and cultural difference in negotiating appropriate normative terms of transnational accountability relationships. In relation to each, this chapter examines how systematic engagement between empirical and normative modes of analysis can both illuminate the theoretical problem and inform practical political strategies for strengthening accountability in global economic governance.
This chapter shows that deliberative democracy is an important consideration for African nations, especially with an eye on the divisive effects of aggregative politics on democracies involving multi-ethnic groupings. The chapter explores Wiredu’s plea for democracy by consensus as an alternative model better suited than multi-party politics for an African context, and concludes that we need further research to determine where we could institute consensual mechanisms in African countries. Furthermore, it proposes that research on deliberation in Africa needs to go beyond philosophical discussions, and that empirical scholars need to begin testing various arguments in the philosophical and theoretical debates about deliberation.
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 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.
Matthew J. Walton
This chapter looks at two different interpretations of the Theravāda Buddhist Aggañña Sutta that argue for notably different models of leftist politics. Aung San, writing as he struggled to establish an independent socialist government in Burma in the middle of the twentieth century, saw in this story of the first elected leader a radical critique of property and capitalism. By contrast, the Thai monk Buddhadāsa was writing in the turbulent 1970s, when he needed to distinguish himself from communist ideas and re-establish the legitimacy of a moral individual as leader. A comparison of their accounts illustrates the complex ways in which Buddhism can be and has been figured as a political philosophy in the modern era.
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.
Ecological science, which studies the relationships between organisms and their environments, developed from natural history. Aristotle’s teleological chain of being and detailed description modeled natural history until the eighteenth century. Linnaeus and Buffon replaced Aristotelian categories with new criteria for classification, leading the way to Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Darwinian evolution depended on environmental factors and led to the birth of ecological science by the end of the nineteenth century. The ecosystem concept emphasizes populations and systems rather than individuals. Case studies, of wolves and fish show the range of modern ecological science. Anthropogenic changes to the environment have led to extinction and endangered species. Attempts to meliorate human influence include rewilding and synthetic biology.
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.
Mark Rowlands and Susana Monsó
The ability to engage in reflexive thought—in thought about thought or about other mental states more generally—is regarded as a complex intellectual achievement that is beyond the capacities of most nonhuman animals. To the extent that reflexive thought capacities are believed necessary for the possession of many other psychological states or capacities, including consciousness, belief, emotion, and empathy, the inability of animals to engage in reflexive thought calls into question their other psychological abilities. This chapter attacks the idea that reflexive thought is required in this pervasive way and holds that supposing that it is derives from a tendency among philosophers and scientists toward overcomplication. Against this tendency, it recommends an aponoian framework, from apó, “away from” and noûs, “intelligence” or “thought,” arguing that seemingly complex psychological abilities are often not as complex as they seem, and do not require the ability to engage in reflexive thought.
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.