Beyond the Jurist as a theologian of legal science: The question of Carl Schmitt and the international legal order

Peter Langford, Ian Bryan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The authors consider Schmitt’s post-World War II writings on the international legal order, focusing on the position and identity that Schmitt accords to the jurist as theologian of legal science. The authors observe that, for Schmitt, drawing on his wider politico-theological conception of history, the legal order is constituted through the dynamic of spatial appropriation, distribution and production. The role of the jurist, as theologian of legal science, is, according to Schmitt, to demarcate the nomoi of the earth, the configurations of global division and order, and to render their parameters intelligible. This chapter assesses the contemporary relevance of Schmitt’s legal and political thought and proceeds to contend that the notion of the common opens the possibility to think beyond the Schmittian conception of the jurist as theologian of legal science, of perpetual world disorder and of the restraining figure of the katechon. It is further contended that the notion of the common enables a reconceptualization of law and sovereignty, which overturns the exclusive Schmittian emphasis on law as spatial ordering by rendering it sensitive to the experience of injustice; a reconceptualization of law which, in turn, calls for a reconceptualization of the international legal order and the jurist.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Contemporary Relevance of Carl Schmitt: Law, Politics and Theology
EditorsMatilda Arvidsson, Leila Brannstrom, Panu Minkkinen
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Pages208-222
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-82293-1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2015

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    Langford, P., & Bryan, I. (2015). Beyond the Jurist as a theologian of legal science: The question of Carl Schmitt and the international legal order. In M. Arvidsson, L. Brannstrom, & P. Minkkinen (Eds.), The Contemporary Relevance of Carl Schmitt: Law, Politics and Theology (pp. 208-222). Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/products/9781138822931