Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
Trim: 6 x 8¾
978-1-78661-169-7 • Hardback • July 2019 • $133.00 • (£102.00)
978-1-78661-170-3 • Paperback • July 2019 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-78661-171-0 • eBook • July 2019 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
William Rasch is Professor of Germanic Studies at Indiana University. He has published extensively on the German intellectual tradition – philosophy, social theory, political theory – concentrating on the work of Niklas Luhmann, Carl Schmitt, and aspects of German Idealism. He is the author of Sovereignty and its Discontents: On the Primacy of Conflict and the Structure of the Political (2004) and Niklas Luhmann’s Modernity: The Paradoxes of Differentiation (2000), as well as editor of several volumes.
Introduction / Part I: Political Theology / Introduction to Part One / 1. Concrete Reason / 2. Modernity and Its Discontents / 3. Sovereignty / Part II: State versus Society / Introduction to Part Two / 4. Theorizing State and Society / 5. Liberalism / 6. Democracy / 7. Ethical State, Total State / Conclusion / Works Cited / Index
Rasch (Germanic studies, Indiana Univ.) is an expert on the writings of Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) and German idealism. Schmitt was an influential member of the Nazi Party in Germany, and he wrote extensively on how to effectively wield power within and between nation-states and societies. Schmitt’s writings focus on the analysis of complex concepts such as autocracy, totalitarianism, liberalism, democracy, and populism. Rasch divides the book into two parts—"Political Theology of the Strong State" and "State versus Society"—and he concludes with a ten-page coda. . . the book will be useful for those doing advanced work in 20th-century German political philosophy.
Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.
— Choice Reviews
If the “respectful agonistic” politics celebrated by William Connolly, Chantal Mouffe and others seems increasingly a fading dream, where is one to look? William Rasch has written a bold and challenging book, engaging Carl Schmitt on the level of the foundation of his thought rather than the edifice erected upon it. For Rasch, Schmitt makes four important critical stances. First is a reliance on concrete reason, unassisted by any transcendental support. Secondly, the basic quality of human beings is neither good nor evil but is a problem – hence it is political. Rights, therefore, are not pre-political: the question is as to their author. And lastly, discussion cannot be the road to consensus. This book makes a very strong case for the importance of Carl Schmitt in our times.
— Tracy B. Strong, Professor of Political Thought and Philosophy, University of Southampton