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Carl Schmitt: A conceptual exegesis and critique of IR theory.

Bulloch, Douglas (2009) Carl Schmitt: A conceptual exegesis and critique of IR theory. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Carl Schmitt has something of a semi-detached relationship to IR Theory. Largely treated as an outsider or a source of critical interventions with which to unpick the dominant traditions, rather than a theorist of IR in his own right. This thesis takes a different approach. The first section outlines a broad interpretation of Carl Schmitt's main works, with a mind to discovering and examining what unites each of his theoretical interventions, insofar as they pertain to IR Theory. The next part of the thesis lays out some organising principles through which to frame a Schmittian critique of each of the main traditions of IR Theory. This commences by examining the idea of IR theory as united by a common curiosity - rather than divided by warring methodologies - revolving around questions concerning collective identification and legitimate violence. The critiques substantiate a meta-theoretical reformulation of IR theory by reference to two underlying divisions; philosophical realism against philosophical idealism on the one hand, and historical progressivism against a more static or cyclical view on the other. With this in mind, Schmitt cannot be classed as a Liberal, Marxist, or indeed a Realist, but he does clear space for a consideration of the English School as a tradition in its own right, organised around a suspicion of the idea of progress in history, and the interpretive focus of philosophical idealism. Finally, IR theory is schematised as a polemical playing field, and the recent bifurcation of IR between the 'tired old traditions' and the endless and multiplying 'critical turns' - usually informed by an individual theorist, Carl Schmitt among them - can be re-examined. Carl Schmitt thus emerges as a theorist who has much to contribute to IR Theory, not because of any particular critical insights, but because he forces a re-examination of what it means to theorise IR.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2539

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