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ISSN 0869-5377
The Logos Journal

The use and abuse of Leo Strauss in the Schmitt revival by the German right-wing — the case of Heinrich Meier


About author:
Is an authority on international economic law and also a specialist in 20th century European legal and political philosophy (Alexander Kojève and Leo Strauss), professor of New-York University Law School. He is the author of articles on globalization theory, international trade, investment, and financial law, legal and political philosophy, author of the following books: ‘The Federal Vision: Legitimacy and Levels of Governance in the EU and the U.S.’ (2001), ‘The Regulation of International Trade’ (2005), co-translator of Alexander Kojève’s ‘Outline for a Phenomenology of Right’ and the principal author of the interpretative commentary in that volume. E-mail:

The article reviews Heinrich Meier’s book ‘Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss und “Der Begriff des Politischen”. Zu einem Dialog unter Abwesenden’ and analyses the reasoning and motivation behind Meier’s claim about the ‘hidden’ dialogue between Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss and their shared opposition to liberalism and cosmopolitism. Meier’s central arguments are based on a misunderstanding in the interpretation of Strauss’s essay and its influence on Schmitt’s ‘Concept of the Political’ as well as on the distortion of Strauss’s views. Howse also attacks the thesis about an insuperable rupture between political theology based on faith (Schmitt) and political philosophy based on reasoning (Strauss). Schmitt’s project turns out to be based on modern biblical criticism, which informs a variety of modern philosophical liberalism.

Keywords: Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Karl Löwith, political theology, political philosophy, enmity, antisemitism, Nazism, liberalism, cosmopolitanism

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