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date: 15 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

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.

Keywords: modernity, Romanticism, sovereign power of decision, Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, Zygmunt Bauman

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