Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt The Politics of Order and Myth
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