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Law, decision, necessity : shifting the burden of responsibility.

Jacques, Johanna (2016) 'Law, decision, necessity : shifting the burden of responsibility.', in The contemporary relevance of Carl Schmitt : law, politics, theology. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 107-119.


What does it mean to act politically? This paper contributes an answer to this question by looking at the role that necessity plays in the political theory of Carl Schmitt. It argues that necessity, whether in the form of existential danger or absolute values, does not affect the sovereign decision, which must be free from normative determinations if it is to be a decision in Schmitt’s sense at all. The paper then provides a reading of Schmitt in line with Weber’s ethics of responsibility, according to which the political actor decides not arbitrarily and irresponsibly, but actively assumes responsibility for the decisions he takes.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Contemporary Relevance of Carl Schmitt: Law, Politics, Theology on 17/08/2015, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:08 August 2016
Date of first online publication:17 August 2015
Date first made open access:17 February 2017

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