Chinese Receptions of Carl Schmitt Since 1929
Ryan Mitchell, “Chinese Receptions of Carl Schmitt Since 1929,” 8 Journal of Law and International Affairs 1 (2020)
83 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2019 Last revised: 18 Jun 2020
Date Written: June 12, 2020
In recent years, an increasing number of Chinese scholars of law and politics have found inspiration in the works of the influential conservative German legal and political theorist Carl Schmitt (1888-1985). Embodying a larger shift away from orthodox debates framed on the opposition of state Marxism and Anglo-American liberalism, Schmitt’s views have broadened the scope of discourse on issues such as the Communist Party’s role in governance, judicial constitutionalism, economic systems, and China’s place in international order. This article assesses Schmitt’s role in current debates as part of a longer history of engagements that began during the Nanjing Decade (1927-1937), but was interrupted due to Schmitt’s persona non grata status during the Cold War. For the first time putting recent discourse in the context of earlier (now obscure) receptions by Chinese intellectuals, the article shows that Schmitt’s thought has long provided a conceptual vocabulary useful for reframing matters of public law and political economy.
Keywords: Carl Schmitt, Chinese Law, Chinese Politics, Legal History, Sovereignty
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