Latest Issue

Why journalists reviving Carl Schmitt are playing a precarious game

The political thinker and jurist of the Third Reich has become the symbol for our current era. But there's a fine line between citation and indulgence.

By Joseph Owen  

Carl Schmitt seems to be experiencing a second life. The jurist of the Third Reich and famed twentieth century political theorist is now fodder for editorials in the Atlantic, the New Statesman, the Financial Times, and the London Review of Books. Authoritarian conservatives, amoral leftists and self-flagellating liberals have acknowledged, appropriated and claimed affinity to Schmitt’s work. He is invoked to…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect