Schmitt’s Concept of the Political as a Prism for Assessing “the War on Terror“?


The Concept of the Political is the first book by Carl Schmitt translated and published in the Czech Republic. As such it deserves a treatise that would put it into the larger context of Schmitt’s life and work, which is the aim of this review essay. Therefore key concepts (not only) from The Concept of the Political are explained. The essay also goes beyond the classical labeling of Schmitt as realist and focuses also on his more general critique of modernity and of the technological thought characteristic of our epoch. This way we can better understand why Schmitt fascinates the contemporary left as well as right. It also shows his relevance to many current discussions, for example those concerning the War on Terror. How shall we classify Guantanamo? As an example par excellence of a decision of a sovereign in exceptional circumstances, or as a result of the depoliticisation of the political? This essay, however, does not give a specific answer to this question. Rather, it is intended as an introduction of this „Schmittian“ debate to the Czech academic milieu.

Carl Schmitt; depoliticisation; critique of modernity; realism; war on terror; exceptionalism




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