A Contingent Affinity: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and the Challenge of Modern Politics: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and the Challenge of Modern Politics

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Abstract

The thesis that the theory of charismatic–plebiscitary democracy developed by Max Weber in the wake of the Weimar Republic was developed to its ultimate consequences by Carl Schmitt in the final crisis of Weimar has been hotly debated since it was first advanced in the 1950s. This paper proposes a fresh look at the controversy. By comparing both authors’ concepts of politics in their relation to the problem of modernity, it argues that the Weber–Schmitt affair is neither a baseless legend nor a case of natural continuity. Instead, it should rather be understood in terms of a contingent affinity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-304
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the History of Ideas
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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