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Schmitt's Critique of Kelsenian Normativism

16 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2008  

Sylvie Delacroix

University College London - Faculty of Laws

Date Written: March 1, 2005


The aim of this paper is to underline the relevance of Schmitt's critique of Kelsenian normativism in the context of today's debate about the status of legal positivism. Schmitt's underlining of the limits which a certain kind of positivism imposes upon itself highlights a contemporary issue about what legal theory should aim at when accounting for the normative dimension of law. Schmitt's ultimate failure to take up the theoretical challenge he himself raised (with its well-known consequences) is deemed to illustrate-negatively-the importance of providing a plausible account of the social practices which bring law into existence.

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, Kelsen, normativity, Weimar, decisionism

Suggested Citation

Delacroix, Sylvie, Schmitt's Critique of Kelsenian Normativism (March 1, 2005). Ratio Juris, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 30-45, March 2005. Available at SSRN:

Sylvie Delacroix (Contact Author)

University College London - Faculty of Laws ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom


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