Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 5, No 9 (2016)

Schmitt’s Hobbes, Hobbes’s Schmitt

Étienne Balibar, Gonzalo Ricci Cernadas (Trad.)


This article, originally a preface to the French edition of Carl Schmitt’s book The Leviathan in the State theory of Thomas Hobbes, displays a critical analysis that not only puts the above work in context, but also raises a question about Schmitt’s appropriation of Hobbes, an author who was considered a beacon of light by the former during his whole lifetime. Thus, the article undertakes a reconstitution of Schmitt´s relevance for Political Theory and Philosophy in recent years, and then develops the way Hobbes was analysed in Schmitt´s essay. The interpretation of the Jurist is not innocent at all, and the propinquity to the English author in some issues could have allowed the former to reinforce his own arguments by using the latter as a mere strategic tool. The key question the article tries to elucidate is whether this re-appropriation was successful or not.