1st Edition

Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt The Politics of Order and Myth

Edited By Johan Tralau Copyright 2011
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    Thomas Hobbes, the English 17th century philosopher, and Carl Schmitt, Hitler’s ‘crown jurist’, a political thinker and author of an enigmatic book on Hobbes, are increasingly relevant today for two reasons. First, they address the problem of political order, so important when we witness failed states, the privatisation of war, and the rise of political violence that does not derive from the state. Secondly, they are both crucial sources for the use of mythology in politics; moreover, they address the key issue of our time, namely, the relation between politics and religion. This collection of important new essays addresses Hobbes and Schmitt as political thinkers, their importance for present-day politics and society, their conceptions of myth and politics, and Schmitt’s use of Hobbes in (and some say against) the Third Reich. When myth, violence and revelation re-emerge as political forces, it is important to understand Hobbes’s and Schmitt’s answers to the problems of their time – and to those of ours.

    This book was based on a special issue of the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.

    1. Johan Tralau (Uppsala) Introduction

    Part I: Schmitt and Hobbes: Why should we care?

    2. John Dunn (Cambridge) The Significance of Hobbes’s Conception of Power

    3. Stephen Holmes (NYU) Does Hobbes have a Concept of the Enemy?

    4. Patricia Springborg (Bolzano) Hobbes, Schmitt, Bobbitt, and Total War

    5. Karsten Fischer (Berlin) Weird Relations. Hobbes, Schmitt and the Paradox of Religious Liberalism

    Part II: Two Leviathans

    6. Ellen Kennedy (U Pennsylvania) Two Leviathans: 1651 & 1938

    7. Yves Charles Zarka (Paris Sorbonne) Carl Schmitt or the Triple Betrayal of Hobbes

    8. Roberto Farneti (Bologna) Hobbes’s Paradox Redux

    9. Gabriella Slomp (St. Andrews) Hobbes, Schmitt and the Category of the Political

    Part III: Myth, Religion, and the Politics of Concealment

    10. Ruth Groh (Heidelberg) Carl Schmitt, the Secret Gnostic

    11. Tomaž Mastnak (Ljubljana) Schmitt’s Behemoth

    12. Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton) Re-Imagining Leviathan: Schmitt and Oakeshott on the Nature of Political Association

    13. Johan Tralau (Uppsala) Order, the Ocean, and Satan: Schmitt’s Hobbes and the Enigmatic Ambiguity of Friend and Foe


    Johan Tralau teaches politics at Uppsala universitet. He has been a visiting scholar in Tokyo, Berlin, at the New School of Social Research, in Rome, and in Hanover. In 2007–2008, he hosted his own TV show, Kanon-TV, on the Swedish channel Axess TV. He has published extensively in English, German and Swedish, including his books, Människoskymning. Främlingskap, frihet, och Hegels problem hos Karl Marx och Ernst Jünger (2002, German trans. 2005), and Draksådd. Den grekiska tragedin som politiskt tänkande (2010); his work has been (or will shortly be) published in journals such as Political Theory; Philosophisches Jahrbuch; Greek, Roman and Byzantine studies; Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft; European Journal of Political Theory, and History of Political Thought.