Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D. Professor of History

Date of Award

12-2015

Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

History, M.A.

Department

History and Social Studies Education Department

Advisor

John Abromeit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Department Home page

http://history.buffalostate.edu/

First Reader

John Abromeit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

Second Reader

Patrick McGovern, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science

Abstract

This thesis examines the Anglo-American reception, from the 1930s to the early 2000s, of the ideas of the German political theorist Carl Schmitt. The introduction provides an overview the key concepts in Schmitt’s writings in the 1920s. Chapter one examines Schmitt’s influence on the German-Jewish émigré political theorists Leo Strauss and Hans Morgenthau, in an attempt to explain how Schmitt’s ideas were initially transported from Germany to the U.S. The second chapter is a more detailed case study of the American leftist journal, Telos, which played a key role in introducing Schmitt’s writings to a broader, English language audience in the late 1980s and 1990s. Chapter three examines the reception of Schmitt among left and left-liberal Anglo-American political theorists more generally. Both chapter two and three address the larger question of which elements of the Anglo-American left were drawn to Schmitt and why the ideas of this conservative German thinker – and former Nazi – still seemed relevant to them.

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