Carl Schmitt (1888–1985)

Bardo Fassbender

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599752
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

Carl Schmitt (1888–1985)


Carl Schmitt belonged to the most influential German legal scholars and political theorists of the 20th century. While the focus of his work was constitutional law, legal theory, and philosophy, he also had a strong influence on the jurisprudence of international law. Schmitt was a divisive and polarizing thinker who has been admired and praised by some, and sharply criticized and even condemned by others. A matter of particular controversy was his role in the ‘Third Reich’. If Schmitt was an opportunist in the first years of Hitler’s regime, he swam against the tide for most of his life before and after. Especially after 1945, he refused to make any concession to the Zeitgeist that dominated politics and legal science.

Keywords: constitutional law; international law; jurisprudence; Third Reich; Zeitgeist; legal science

Article.  2539 words. 

Subjects: Law ; History of Law ; International Law

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