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Carl Schmitt ranks among the most original and controversial political thinkers of the twentieth century. His incisive criticisms of Enlightenment political thought and liberal political practice remain as shocking and significant today as when they first appeared in Weimar Germany. Unavailable in English until now, Legality and Legitimacy was composed in 1932, in the midst of the crisis that would lead to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and only a matter of months before Schmitt's collaboration with the Nazis. In this important work, Schmitt questions the political viability of liberal constitutionalism, parliamentary government, and the rule of law. Liberal governments, he argues, cannot respond effectively to challenges by radical groups like the Nazis or Communists. Only a presidential regime subject to few, if any, practical limitations can ensure domestic security in a highly pluralistic society.Legality and Legitimacy is sure to provide a compelling reference point in contemporary debates over the challenges facing constitutional democracies today. In addition to Jeffrey Seitzer's translation of the 1932 text itself, this volume contains his translation of Schmitt's 1958 commentary on the work, extensive explanatory notes, and an appendix including selected articles of the Weimar constitution. John P. McCormick's introduction places Legality and Legitimacy in its historical context, clarifies some of the intricacies of the argument, and ultimately contests Schmitt's claims regarding the inherent weakness of parliamentarism, constitutionalism, and the rule of law.
Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) was a leading German political and legal theorist. Among his many books are The Idea of Representation, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, Political Romanticism, and The Concept of the Political.Jeffrey Seitzer is the author of Comparative History and Legal Theory: Carl Schmitt in the First German Democracy. John P. McCormick is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism and editor of Confronting Mass Democracy and Industrial Technology, published by Duke University Press.Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) was a leading German political and legal theorist. Among his many books are The Idea of Representation, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, Political Romanticism, and The Concept of the Political.Jeffrey Seitzer is the author of Comparative History and Legal Theory: Carl Schmitt in the First German Democracy. John P. McCormick is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Carl Schmitt's Critique of Liberalism and editor of Confronting Mass Democracy and Industrial Technology, published by Duke University Press.
Translator's Preface / Jeffrey Seitzer ix Identifying or Exploiting the Paradoxes of Constitutional Democracy? An Introduction to Carl Schmitt's Legality and Legitimacy JOHN P. McCORMICK xiii Legality and Legitimacy Introduction: The Legislative State System of Legality Compared to Other State Types (Jurisdiction, Governmnetal, and Administrative States) / John P. McCormick 3 I: The System of the Legality of the Parliaamentary Legislative State 1. The Legislative State and the Concept of Law 17 2. Legality and the Equal Chance for Achieving Political Power 27 II: The Three Extraordinary Lawgivers of the Weimar Constitution 3. The Extraordinary Lawgiver Ratione Materiae: The Second Principal Part of the Weimar Constitution and a Second Constitution 39 4. The Extraordinary Lawgiver Ratione Supremitatis: Actual Meaning - Plebiscitary Legitimacy instead of Lgislative State Legality 59 5. The Extraordinary Lawgiver Ratione Necessitatis: Actual Meaning - The Administrative State Measure Displaces the Parliamentary Legislative State Statute 67 Conclusion 85 Afterword (1958) 95 Appendix: Selected Articles of the Weimar Constitution 103 Notes 109 Works Cited by Carl Schmitt in Legality and Legitimacy 161 Index 165
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