Perpetual war, or 'war and war again': Schmitt, Foucault, fascism

Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (2):47-66 (1996)
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Abstract

This article seeks to explore the way that warfare, and categories gleaned from warfare and military practice, are used in the work of Carl Schmitt and Michel Foucault. Despite their profound political and theoretical differences both writers seek to understand politics and society through the idea of war. Because both writers resist the use of the state-civil society distinction their account of war renders it a perpetual phenomenon of the social and political order; this creates difficulties concerning fascism, though for different reasons. At the same time the article explores the similarities and differences in the way both Schmitt and Foucault appropriate Hobbesian and Nietzschean ideas and motifs. Key Words: fascism • Foucault • Schmitt • state • war.

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