Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt was among twentieth-century Germany's foremost jurists and political theorists. His complex life and legacy were marked by his early Catholicism and his extensive involvement with the legal and academic apparatus of the Third Reich, an issue exacerbated by his apparent role as one of the chief legal theorists of Nazism. Despite this, his rigorous and intellectually powerful work, in which he developed his highly original theories of the 'state of exception' and the 'friend-enemy distinction', have endured, and his writings on subjects such as sovereignty, dictatorship and the nature of the political have become highly influential. Indeed, his conceptual framework and critique of liberalism have inspired both modern leftist theorists, such as Giorgio Agamben, as well as neoconservative legal thinkers. Polity has recently published a number of important works by Schmitt, including Political Theology II, Dictatorship and Dialogues on Power and Space. Polity also published the authoritative biography by Reinhard Mehring, Carl Schmitt, in 2014.