Carl Schmitt: Law as Politics, Ideology and Strategic Myth, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Carl Schmitt

Law as Politics, Ideology and Strategic Myth, 1st Edition

By Michael Salter


312 pages

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There continues to be a remarkable revival in academic interest in Carl Schmitt's thought within politics and social theory but this is the first book to address his thought from an explicitly legal theoretical perspective. Transcending the prevailing one-sided and purely historical focus on Schmitt’s significance for debates that took place in the Weimar Republic 1919-1933, this book addresses the actual and potential significance of Schmitt's thought for controversies  within contemporary Anglo-American legal theory that have emerged during the past three decades. These include: the critique of liberal forms of legal positivism; the relative ‘indeterminacy’ of legal doctrine and the need for an explicitly interpretative approach to its range of meanings, their scope and policy rationale; the centrality of discretion and judicial law-making  within the legal process; the important role played by ideological prejudices and assumptions in legal reasoning; the reinterpretation of law as a form of strategically disguised politics; the legal theoretical critique of universalistic approaches to "human" rights and associated liberal-cosmopolitan  'ideologies of humanity,' including the rhetoric of 'humanitarian intervention'; and the limitations of liberal constitutionalism and liberalism more generally as an approach to law.

In Carl Schmitt: Law as Politics, Ideology and Strategic Myth, the author provides an overview and assessment of Schmitt's thought, as well as a consideration of its relevance for contemporary legal thought and debates.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction: Up Against Carl Schmitt ; Chapter One: An Afterlife For Carl Schmitt?; Chapter Two: On Politics, Law And Ideology; Part 2: Introduction; Chapter Three: Mobilising Direct Political Action: Sorel, Myths And Counter-Myths; Chapter Four: Myths Of Parliamentarism; Chapter Five: Leviathan: A Political Myth Misfired?; Chapter Six: Hamlet As An Instructive Prototype Of A Political Myth?; Chapter Seven: Political Myths Underpinning Democracy; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Michael Salter has held academic posts at the Universities of Sheffield, Birmingham, Ulster, Lancaster and Central Lancashire. His previous books include Hegel and Law (ed., 1993), Nazi War Crimes, US Intelligence and Selective Prosecution at Nuremberg, (2007) and US Intelligence, the Holocaust and the Nuremberg Trials (2 vols. 2009)

About the Series

Nomikoi: Critical Legal Thinkers

Nomikoi: Critical Legal Thinkers presents analyses of key critical theorists who have written on law and contributed significantly to the development of the new interdisciplinary legal studies. Addressing those who have most influenced legal thought and thought about law, the aim of the series is to bring legal scholarship, the social sciences and the humanities into a closer dialogue.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence
PHILOSOPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory