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Title: The crisis of political form : the question of space in the work of Carl Schmitt
Author: Rowan, Rory
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the role of space in the work of the German legal and political theorist Carl Schmitt (1888-1983). It has two fundamental aims. Firstly, to identify what role spatial concepts play in Schmitt's work. Second, to examine what relevance Schmitt's spatial thought might have for thinking about the relation between space and politics today. In response to the first question the thesis argues that spatial concepts occupy a structural position throughout Schmitt's work that has thus far been overlooked. The central claim is that Schmitt understands political order, in the absence of necessary foundations, to be fundamentally grounded upon the division of space. The division of space allows political relations to be managed within a formal framework. However, Schmitt understood this relationship between spatial division and political relations to be in crisis in the twentieth century. The thesis traces Schmitt's various attempts to address this crisis first within the horizon of the state and then on the basis of new global spatial divisions beyond the state form. In answering the second question the thesis argues that in order to assess the contemporary relevance of Schmitt's spatial thought it must be contextualized in relation to both the central concerns of his work as a whole and the political contexts within which it emerged. This is of particular importance in judging how Schmitt's involvement with National Socialism bears on the contemporary value of his thought. In conclusion the thesis argues that whilst a critical awareness of his troubling past is necessary in approaching Schmitt's work it none-the-less raises fundamental questions of enduring relevance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography ; Carl Schmitt ; Space ; Politics ; Nazism ; Philosophy ; Geopolitics