Abstract or Introduction
Carl Schmitt is not only known for his remarkable influence on 20th century legal and political theory, but also for his close allegiance with Nazism. Whereas some say that his Nazi experience can’t be separated from his ideas, it is even more surprising that radical democrat Chantal Mouffe comes up with a way of using Schmitt’s ideas to rethink contemporary politics. Her reflection on and modification of Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction led her to a friend-adversary distinction that underlies her notion of agonistic pluralism. The aim of this essay is to outline in what way Mouffe’s account of agonistic pluralism resembles Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction. First, we have a look on Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction. Then, we will focus on Chantal Mouffe’s modification of Schmitt’s distinction and mention besides widely discussed commonalities and differences between her and Schmitt’s conception a difference that until now hasn’t received much attention in the literature: the different accounts of the preferred location of the friend’s opponent. In the last part of this essay, a weakness that both conceptions share and that until now didn’t receive the attention it deserves, will be presented, namely their failure to recognize that friend-opponent distinctions are not necessarily tied to membership of a certain political entity. In the last paragraph, possible implications of this weakness on the relationship between Schmitt’s and Mouffe’s friend-opponent distinctions and cosmopolitanism will be outlined.
- Quote paper
- David Schneider (Author), 2017, From Friend-Enemy to Agonistic Pluralism. Chantal Mouffe’s way of dealing with Carl Schmitt, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/385492