Writings on War collects three of Carl Schmitt’s most important and controversial texts, here appearing in English for the first time: The Turn to the Discriminating Concept of War, The Großraum Order of International Law, and The International Crime of the War of Aggression and the Principle “Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege”.
Written between 1937 and 1945, these works articulate Schmitt’s concerns throughout this period of war and crisis, addressing the major failings of the League of Nations, and presenting Schmitt’s own conceptual history of these years of disaster for international jurisprudence. For Schmitt, the jurisprudence of Versailles and Nuremberg both fail to provide for a stable international system, insofar as they attempt to impose universal standards of ‘humanity’ on a heterogeneous world, and treat efforts to revise the status quo as ‘criminal’ acts of war. In place of these flawed systems, Schmitt argues for a new planetary order in which neither collective security organizations nor 19th century empires, but Schmittian ‘Reichs’ will be the leading subject of international law.
Writings on War will be essential reading for those seeking to understand the work of Carl Schmitt, the history of international law and the international system, and interwar European history. Not only do these writings offer an erudite point of entry into the dynamic and charged world of interwar European jurisprudence; they also speak with prescience to a 21st century world struggling with similar issues of global governance and international law.