The Dark Side of Podemos?: Carl Schmitt and Contemporary Progressive Populism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Dark Side of Podemos?

Carl Schmitt and Contemporary Progressive Populism, 1st Edition

By Josh Booth, Patrick Baert

Routledge

130 pages

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pub: 2018-05-01
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Description

In 2014 a new progressive party, Podemos, emerged on the Spanish political scene. Within just over two years it had become the country’s third-biggest party, winning a slew of seats in parliament and regularly making headline news. While some see Podemos as the saviour of Spanish democracy, others have accused it of corrosive populism. But what few have noticed is that behind its distinctive rhetoric lies a thinker closely associated with Germany’s Third Reich: Carl Schmitt.

Why has an ostensibly progressive and avowedly anti-fascist political party taken up Schmitt’s ideas? The puzzle only deepens when we learn of Schmitt’s links with Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. In The Dark Side of Podemos?, Booth and Baert explain why Schmittian theory resonated with Podemos’ founders. In doing so, the authors position Podemos and the ideas that guide it within the context of recent Spanish history and ongoing politics of memory, revealing a story about how personal and political narratives have combined to produce a formidable political force.

This enlightening monograph will appeal to undergraduates and postgraduates, as well as postdoctoral researchers, interested in fields such as Politics, Political Theory and Sociology. It will also be relevant to those curious about contemporary Spanish politics, the nature of populism, the future of the European left, or Carl Schmitt and his links with Spain.

Reviews

In this intriguing narrative in political theory, Booth and Baert trace the multi-layered and often surprising connections between the conservative philosophy of the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt and the progressive populism of Podemos. In the process they consider the analogies between Weimar Germany and contemporary Spain, General Franco’s regime and the warm reception for Schmitt’s views on power, the political, the "exception", and decisionism. In tracing the connections between the Podemos leadership and Schmitt’s critique of liberalism and parliamentary democracy, they also describe the profound crisis within the European Union between Germany and its underdeveloped periphery.

A tour de force, the authors develop a compelling historical sociology of ideas and expose the ambiguities of populism as appealing to extreme right and left politics , and simultaneously dissolving this political division.

Bryan S. Turner ACU (Melbourne) and Potsdam University Germany

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Schmitt-Podemos connection

Chapter 2: Podemos’ encounter with Schmitt

Chapter 3: Divergent presents

Chapter 4: Imagining the political past

Chapter 5: Imagining the political future

Chapter 6: Tensions within

About the Authors

Josh Booth is a Teaching Associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, UK

Patrick Baert is Professor of Social Theory at the University of Cambridge, UK

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Sociology

This series presents cutting-edge developments and debates within the field of sociology. It provides a broad range of case studies and the latest theoretical perspectives, while covering a variety of topics, theories and issues from around the world. It is not confined to any particular school of thought.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC000000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / General
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General