Mariano Croce Andrea Salvatore

Towards Juristic Institutionalism: The Role of Legal Science in Carl Schmitt’s Thinking between the 1910s and the 1950s

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Carl Schmitt always regarded himself as a jurist, and this is the key to making sense of his long intellectual biography. Against the received view of Schmitt as the extoller of the primacy of politics and the political derivation of law, this article follows the path of the jurist who assigned legal science a function that was hardly ancillary to any other fields of social reality. Both in the early 1910s and in the early 1950s, his writings emphasized the compositional potential of legal science, which is called upon to mould and consolidate a concrete order. Schmitt’s most mature view entirely pivoted on the mutual relation between law and legal science. While the law identifies and supports the social forces and social patterns that guarantee the cohesion of the political community, legal science is the indispensable and self-sufficient reservoir of knowledge that makes up for the deficiencies of politics and normatively orientates people’s conduct


  • Carl Schmitt
  • Decisionism
  • Institutionalism
  • Judicial Practice
  • Legal Science


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