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. Introduction: Thomas Hobbes, Carl Schmitt, and Three Conceptions of Politics Johan Tralau 2. Schmitt’s Behemoth Toma Mastnak 3. Hobbes and Schmitt on the Name and Nature of Leviathan Revisited Patricia Springborg 4. Re-Imagining Leviathan: Schmitt and Oakeshott on Hobbes and the Problem of Political Order Jan-Werner Müller 5. Hobbes’s Paradox Redux Roberto Farneti 6. The Liberal Slip of Thomas Hobbes’s Authoritarian Pen Gabriella Slomp 7. Does Hobbes have a Concept of the Enemy? Stephen Holmes 8. From Roman Catholicism to Mechanized Oppression: On Political-Theological Disjunctures in Schmitt’s Weimar Thought John P. McCormick 9. Hobbes, Schmitt, and the Paradox of Religious Liberality Karsten Fischer 10. The Significance of Hobbes’s Conception of Power John Dunn 11. Order, the Ocean, and Satan: Schmitt’s Hobbes, National Socialism, and the Enigmatic Ambiguity of Friend and Foe Johan Tralau