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Introduction: Carl Schmitt’s Critique of Friedrich Meinecke


Duncan Kelly

This is an introduction to a new translation, by Keith Tribe, of Carl Schmitt’s review of Friedrich Meinecke’s Die Idee der Staatsräson (1924) from the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik (1926). It offers a brief overview of Meinecke’s thinking about the relationship between politics and morality, and the possibility of a bridge being built between the two spheres by an ethically and culturally grounded form of reason of state. It was precisely this sort of moralized historical writing that Schmitt rejected, and in his rejection of it (a rejection mirrored in fact by Reinhard Koselleck) he returned to the sorts of conceptually aware, and politically realistic forms of argument found in the work of Max Weber.


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