Carl Schmitt’s Reconstruction of the Relationship between State and Individual

  • Qi Zheng


After the analysis of Schmitt’s critique of the positivist understanding of law in Chapter 2, this chapter explores how Schmitt criticizes liberalism’s understanding of the relationship of the individual and the state. The analysis will help us to construct the role of the individual at the founding and protecting moment of the politics of transition. The political activities in the founding and protecting moments of the politics of transition do not totally conform to constitutional law. Instead, these two moments exemplify the characteristic of the political in Schmitt’s theory. Accordingly, the relationship of the individual and the state in these two moments is also different from the one proposed by liberalism. Although the role of the individual in the extraordinary moments of the politics of transition is the main focus of this chapter, the role of the individual in ordinary politics is also assessed.


Human Nature Individual Freedom Political Sphere Political Form Collective Entity 
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  1. 19.
    Heinrich Meier, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue, trans. Harvey Lomax (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), p. 25.Google Scholar
  2. 44.
    Leo Strauss, ‘Comments on Carl Schmitt’s “Der Begriff des Politischen,”’ in The Concept of the Political, by Carl Schmitt, trans. George Schwab (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1976), p. 94.Google Scholar
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    Chantal Mouffe, ‘Carl Schmitt and the Paradox of Liberal Democracy,’ in The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, ed. Chantal Mouffe (London: Verso, 1999), p. 48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Qi Zheng 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Zheng
    • 1
  1. 1.East China Normal UniversityPeople’s Republic of China

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