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Theory of the Partisan: Intermediate Commentary on the Concept of the Political
Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), one of the great legal and political thinkers of the 20th century, thought long and hard about the role and significance of war. He saw how the international law of the Eurocentric era of world history began to falter at the end of World War I and foundered at the end of World War II. Following World War II, belligerent acts...
Carl Schmitt (1888-1985), one of the great legal and political thinkers of the 20th century, thought long and hard about the role and significance of war. He saw how the international law of the Eurocentric era of world history began to falter at the end of World War I and foundered at the end of World War II. Following World War II, belligerent acts around the world began to assume a distinctly partisan character, and the belligerents were increasingly non-state actors. His Theory of the Partisan originated in two lectures that Schmitt delivered in 1962, which addressed the transformation of war in the post-European age. Schmitt concludes Theory of the Partisan with the statement: "The theory of the partisan flows into the question of the concept of the political, into the question of the real enemy and of a new nomos of the earth." Theory of the Partisan analyzes a specific and significant phenomenon that ushered in a new theory of war and enmity. It contains an implicit theory of the terrorist, which in the 21st century has ushered in yet another new theory of war and enmity. Consequently, this work is not only of historical interest, but is relevant to contemporary political and military developments and concerns.
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