Lecture: “Carl Schmitt’s New World Order: Nazi Internationalism and International Law, 1937-1945”, Corpus Christi College, June 23, 1-2 PM

A bit of shameless self-promotion and an attempt to get word out: on Thursday, June 23, I’ll be giving a short lunchtime talk in the Rainolds Room of Corpus Christi College, from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, entitled “Carl Schmitt’s New World Order: Nazi Internationalism and International Law, 1937,” a kind of condensed summary of some of the matter from the Carl Schmitt book which I worked on and which is coming out shortly.

Carl Schmitt

I should have an abstract ready to go shortly for the talk, but broadly what I’ll be trying to do is to explain how, for Schmitt and other members of the German legal community, even into the 1940s, there was very much a coherent, intellectually interesting vision for international institutions and international law even after the prospective victory of Nazi Germany over the USSR and the establishment of a (Nazi) German Empire in Western Eurasia. I’ll attempt to show how Schmitt’s thought in particular on international institutions changed from his 1937 position in The Turn to the Discriminating Concept of War, to the exposition of a theory of empire we get in his 1941 Großraum, and then look at how he attempted to cover his tracks, and revise his position, first in 1945 with The International Crime of the War of Aggression, but also later with The Nomos of the Earth. I always liken Schmitt stuff nowadays to getting a divorce: I’ve been working with him so long, and trying to get him out of my life (publication!), that I’m almost sick of him, but it should be fun to exposit on it with a mix of both friends and others interested in discovering Schmitt for themselves.

How to get to the Rainolds Room

A final note for those clueless about Corpus, one of Oxford’s smallest colleges. To get to the Rainolds Room, once inside Corpus (on Merton Street), go through the main courtyard, veering towards the back right, where there is a corridor. Go through the corridor, which will take you to a small garden quad. There, continue to go straight, into a further courtyard where there’s a brand-new auditorium (the MBI Al Jaber Auditorium) ahead of you. The Rainolds Room – along with sandwiches and refreshments – should be awaiting you on your right.


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