▪ Abstract 

The reissue of Carl Schmitt's most important works, and , offers the opportunity for reflection on Schmitt's pervasive influence over myriad fields of political and legal studies and for re-evaluation of the basic tenets of his thought. In these works, the conservative Weimar jurist unveiled his theory of ”the exception,“ put forth his ”friend/enemy“ thesis of politics, and insisted that Enlightenment rationality had undermined the European state, leaving it vulnerable to the forces of atheism, anarchism, and socialism that were taking root in Soviet Russia. Among other issues, this article explores Schmitt's Janus-faced critique of liberalism: For Schmitt, liberals are either not worthy to be considered enemies because they deny the inevitability of mortal combat, or they are, in fact, consummate enemies because they successfully punish and destroy adversaries under the cover of universal, humanitarian principles. The article also interrogates the status of morality in Schmitt's conception of the political—specifically, whether the categories of good and evil inform the distinction between friend and enemy, or whether the political operates in a sphere completely autonomous of morality and theology.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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