Introduction—from <i>Staatsrechtslehre</i> to <i>Behemoth</i>

Duncan Kelly

in The State of the Political

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262870
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734892 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

Introduction—from Staatsrechtslehre to Behemoth

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This is a book about how conceptions of the modern state, politics and the political were understood, developed and modified by Max Weber (1864–1920), Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) and Franz Neumann (1900–1954) during the period 1890 to 1945 in Germany. It is an attempt to outline their criticisms and modifications of a broad, peculiarly German tradition of Staatsrechtslehre, or state-legal theorizing. The predominantly legalistic nature of this type of thinking forms both the background to, and the bases of, the understandings of the modern state and politics found in their writings. Yet, all three writers argued that such thinking could not adequately adapt to the problems raised by an era of mass-based politics. Tracing the reasoning behind their movement away from this broad tradition of Staatsrechtslehre therefore provides an overarching context for this work.

Keywords: Max Weber; Carl Schmitt; Franz Neumann; Germany; state-legal theorizing

Chapter.  9467 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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