Friendly Sovereignty: Historical Perspectives on Carl Schmitt's Neglected Exception (Hardcover)

Friendly Sovereignty: Historical Perspectives on Carl Schmitt's Neglected Exception By Ted H. Miller Cover Image
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Over the last one hundred years, the term "sovereignty" has often been associated with the capacity of leaders to declare emergencies and to unleash harmful, extralegal force against those deemed enemies. Friendly Sovereignty explores the blind spots of this influential perspective.

Ted H. Miller challenges the view of sovereignty propounded by Carl Schmitt, the Weimar and Nazi-period jurist and political theorist whose theory undergirds this understanding of sovereignty. Claiming a return to concepts of sovereignty forgotten by his liberal contemporaries, Schmitt was preoccupied with the legal exceptions required, he said, to rescue polities in crisis. Much is missing from what Schmitt harvests from the past. His framework systematically overlooks another extralegal power, one that often caused consternation, even among absolutists like Thomas Hobbes. Sovereigns also made exceptions for friends, allies, and dependents. Friendly Sovereignty plumbs the history of political thought about sovereignty to illustrate this other side of the sovereign's exception-making power. At the core of this extensive study are three thinkers, each of whom stakes out a distinct position on the merits and demerits of a "friendly sovereign" the nineteenth-century historian Jules Michelet, the seventeenth-century political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, and Seneca, the ancient Stoic and teacher of Nero.

Analytically rigorous and thorough in its intellectual history, Friendly Sovereignty presents a more comprehensive understanding of sovereignty than the one typically taught today. It will be particularly useful to scholars and students of political theory and philosophy.

About the Author

Ted H. Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama. He is the author of Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas Hobbes, also published by Penn State University Press.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780271093376
ISBN-10: 0271093374
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Pages: 252
Language: English