Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt: Geographies of the Nomos, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Spatiality, Sovereignty and Carl Schmitt

Geographies of the Nomos, 1st Edition

Edited by Stephen Legg


306 pages

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The writings of Carl Schmitt are now indissociable from both an historical period and a contemporary moment. He will forever be remembered for his association with the National Socialists of 1930s Germany, and as the figure whose writings on sovereignty, politics, and the law provided justification for authoritarian, decisional states. Yet at the same time, the post-September 11th 2001 world is one in which a wide range of scholars have increasingly turned to Schmitt to understand a world of "with us or against us" Manichaeism, spaces of exception which seem to be placed outside the law by legal mechanisms themselves, and the contestation of a uni-polar, post-1989 world. This attention marks out Schmitt as one of the foremost emerging theorists in critical theory and assures his work a large and growing audience.

This work brings together geographers, and Schmitt experts who are attuned to the spatial dimensions of his work, to discuss his 1950 work The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum. Explaining the growing audience for Schmitt’s work, a broad range of contributors also examine the Nomos in relation to broader debates about enmity and war, the production of space, the work of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben, and the recuperability of such an intellect tainted by its anti-Semitism and links to the Nazi party.

This work will be of great interest to researchers in political theory, socio-legal studies, geopolitics and critical IR theory

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Geographies of the Nomos Stephen Legg and Alex Vasudevan Part I: Positions and Concepts: Schmitt Translations notes on translations: Matthew Hannah 2. Forms of modern imperialism in international law Carl Schmitt 1933, Trans Matthew Hannah 3. Großraum versus universalism: the International Legal Struggle over the Monroe Doctrine Carl Schmitt 1939, Trans Matthew Hannah Part II: Historical geographies of the nomos 4. Appropriating, Distributing, and Producing Space after 9/11: the Newest Nomos of the Earth? Timothy Luke 5. Echoes of Schmitt among the ideologists of the new American Empire Gerry Kearns 6. Reading Schmitt Geopolitically: Nomos, Territory and Großraum Stuart Elden 17. "Inter-war spatial chaos"? Imperialism, internationalism and the League of Nations Stephen Legg Part III:Analytical Geographies of the Nomos 8. Colonial War: Carl Schmitt’s Deterritorialization of Enmity Mathew Coleman 9. A New Nomos of Post-Nomos? Multipolarity, Space, and Constituent Power Rory Rowan 10. Carl Schmitt and the Question of Spatial Ontology Claudio Minca 11. Between Nomos and Everyday Life: Securing the Spatial Order of Foucault and Schmitt Peter Rogers Part IV: Responses to the Nomos 12. Remembering Nazi Intellectuals David Atkinson 13. Partisan Space Daniel Clayton 14. The Virtual Nomos? Francois Debrix 15. Pastoral Power Matthew Hannah 16. Mapping Schmitt Michael Heffernan 17. Air Power Nasser Hussain 18. Postcolonialism Julia Lossau 19. Land and Sea Eduardo Mendieta 20. Free Sea Philip E Steinberg 21. No Peace Beyond the Line Peter Stirk 22. The Border Nick Vaughan-Williams 23. Ordnung und Ortung/order and localisation Thalin Zarmanian

About the Editor

Stephen Legg is Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Nottingham. He researches twentieth-century colonial India, deploying theoretical insights from literatures addressing governmentality, memory and scale.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


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‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General