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date: 04 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter situates Schmitt as a jurist and specifically as a scholar occupying a distinctive position within German state theory. Schmitt’s overall objective was to build a theory of the constitution of political authority from the most basic elements of the subject, and in this respect he sought to make a contribution to the discipline of politonomy. A concept first alluded to by Schmitt but one he never developed, politonomy concerns the inquiry into the most basic laws and practices of the political. The chapter examines Schmitt’s ambivalent position in politonomy, which was rooted in his distrust of the scientific significance of general concepts. To the extent that Schmitt acknowledged the existence of a law of the political, this chapter argues that it is found implicitly within his embrace of institutionalism in the 1930s and later in his account of nomos as the basic law of appropriation, division, and production.

Keywords: Schmitt, politonomy, Staatslehre, institutionalism, concrete order thinking, nomos

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