Political Theory

Power, Politics, and Morality


Among the most serious criticisms of liberal democratic theory during the past century is that its tendency to moralize politics has left it increasingly unable to cope with the reality of power. The most influential criticism of the moralization of liberal political theory has been mounted by the school of thought inspired by the work of Carl Schmitt. The conference explored the central elements of Schmitt’s critique and the responses offered by Michael Oakeshott and Friedrich Hayek.


Conference Readings

de Jasay, Anthony. The State. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998.

Geuss, Raymond. Philosophy and Real Politics. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008.

Gray, John. Two Faces of Liberalism. London: Polity, 2000.

Hayek, F. A. The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume II: The Road to Serfdom - Text and Documents - The Definitive Edition. Edited by Bruce Caldwell. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Hayek, F. A. Law, Legislation and Liberty, Volume 1: Rules and Order [Phoenix series]. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1973.

Mouffe, Chantal. The Return of the Political. London: Verso, 1993.

Mouffe, Chantal. Agonistics: Thinking the World Politically. London: Verso, 1913.

Mouffe, Chantal. The Challenge of Carl Schmitt. London: Verso, 1999.

Oakeshott, Michael. Hobbes on Civil Association. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2000.

Oakeshott, Michael. Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1962.

Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Schmitt, Carl. The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Schmitt, Carl. The Nomos of the Earth. New York: Telos Press, 2003.

Schmitt, Carl. Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty. Translated by George Schwab. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Williams, Bernard. In the Beginning was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005.