This paper suggests that by illustrating the importance of the concept of representation to his thought, the better known theories of the state and the constitution to be found in Schmitt's work are more easily comprehensible. Furthermore, the paper argues that Schmitt's thoughts on these subjects develop from an early and "personalist" account of representation, towards a more mainstream constitutional theory, through an interpretation of the writings of the Abbé Sieyes in particular.
Adam Smith’s work on moral sentiments is part of his much wider project of a science of man. And his most developed account of sympathy and sociability, provided in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, actually provides the central foundation for his wider, theoretical, or conjectural histories of law, language, government, and political economy. Indeed, his collected writings construct a space for thinking not only about the conjectural history of law, government, and society more precisely in terms of the mechanism of (...) sympathy and propriety. They also focus on the relationship between passions, actions, and political judgements. Smith’s theory of human and commercial sociability and sympathy nevertheless has various limits, and these can be understood in moral and political, commercial and historical, as well as providential and jurisprudential terms. My discussion here is an attempt to show how these limits interweave and interconnect across the body of Smith’s work. (shrink)
The State of the Political challenges traditional interpretations of the political thought of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Franz Neumann. Focusing on their adaptation of a German tradition of state-legal theory, the book offers a scholarly, contextualized account of the interrelationship between their political thought and practical political criticism. Dr Kelly criticizes the typical separation of these writers, and offers a substantial reinterpretation of modern German political thought in a period of profound transition, in particular the relationship between political theory (...) and conceptual change. Alongside its focus on German political and juridical thought, the book contributes significantly to the history of European ideas, discussing parliamentarism and democracy, academic freedom and cultural criticism, political economy, patriotism, sovereignty and rationality, and the inter-relationships between law, the constitution and political representation. (shrink)
Robert Michels is best known as the author of a classic work of political sociology, Political Parties. However, not only are his voluminous other writings typically sidelined in most commentary, but his quite substantial writings on the subject of patriotism have been the subject of almost total neglect. This paper examines these writings and suggests that Michels's analyses of patriotism can indeed best be interpreted within the context of his general intellectual trajectory from socialist to ‘elite theorist’. However, one important (...) consequence of illustrating Michels's account of the history, theory and sociology of patriotic thought in particular is that the picture of the transition in his writings towards elite theory appears to be rather more complex than is normally appreciated. A corollary of this is that the descriptive tag of ‘elite theorist’ actually obscures important aspects of Michels's position in the history of European ideas. (shrink)
In January 1867 T.H. Green gave a series of Four Lectures on the English Commonwealth to the Edinburgh Philosophical Institute, which were then published, on the testimony of 'competent judges', in the third volume of his Collected Works edited by R.L. Nettleship. Green's family background ensured that he had strong interests in the history of Puritanism and the figure of Oliver Cromwell, and he was thoroughly immersed in many of the political and religious controversies of the later quarter of the (...) nineteenth century. Nevertheless, his assessment of the English Commonwealth as a fruit of the Reformation, rather than as a discrete transformation in political culture, has received relatively little attention in the massive literature devoted to Green's political philosophy. This essay assesses these lectures in order to show their importance for understanding in particular his analysis of freedom. It argues that without an understanding of his account of the origins of modern legal freedom born out of the English Revolution, analyses of Green's theory of freedom remain partial and incomplete. It does so by illustrating in detail the content of the lectures, the intellectual and historical debates in English philosophy and German theology that buttressed his arguments, by locating Green's Lectures within wider accounts of the character of English exceptionalism, and by attempting to examine the political context that helped to structure Green's analysis. (shrink)
This collection of essays provides a unique statement of the latest thinking from internationally acclaimed political theorists and intellectual historians on the ways in which the intellectual history and political thought of modern Britain have been saturated with imperial concerns.
The State of the Political offers a broad-ranging re-interpretation of the understanding of politics and the state in the writings of three major German thinkers, Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Franz Neumann. It rejects the typical separation of these writers on the basis of their allegedly incompatible ideological positions, and suggests instead that once properly located in their historical context, the tendentious character of these interpretative boundaries becomes clear.The book interprets the conceptions of politics and the state in the writings (...) of these three thinkers by means of an investigation of their adaptation and modification of particular German traditions of thinking about the state, or Staatsrechtslehre. Indeed, when the theoretical considerations of this state-legal theory are combined with their contemporary political criticism, a richer and more deeply textured account of the issues that engaged the attention of Weber, Schmitt and Neumann is possible. Thus, the broad range of subjects discussed in this book include parliamentarism and democracy in Germany, academic freedom and political economy, political representation, cultural criticism and patriotism, and the relationship between rationality, law, sovereignty and the constitution.The State of the Political is based on extensive consideration of primary and secondary materials, and is held together by a general focus on the importance to these authors of distilling an adequate account of the state and the political - largely because this could bolster their subsequent criticisms of contemporary politics. The study attempts to restore a sense of proportion to discussion of their writings, focusing on the extensive ideas that they shared rather than insisting on their necessary ideological separation. It is a detailed re-appraisal of a crucial moment in modern intellectual history, and highlights the profound importance of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt and Franz Neumann for the history of European ideas. (shrink)