Dispute over the Guardian of the Constitution. Hans Kelsen, Carl Schmitt and the Weimar Case

Authors

  • Arkadiusz Górnisiewicz Jagiellonian University in Kraków

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.12797/Politeja.18.2021.72.10

Keywords:

guardian of the constitution, law and politics, Weimar constitutionalism, Hans Kelsen, Carl Schmitt

Abstract

The paper discusses one of the most important debates on the meaning of constitutional adjudication in the 20th century that engaged two eminent legal and political thinkers Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt. The paper focuses on the constitutional dispute over the guardianship of the constitution in the final years of Weimar’s Germany and reconstructs the arguments of the two major protagonists in this dispute concerning the Weimar constitution and the fundamental question whether the guardian of the constitution is (or should be) the constitutional court or the president of the Reich. The debate highlights the complexity of the political problems of a democratic state, as well as the intricate relationship between law and state and has retained high level of topicality. The paper also pays attention to the philosophical-political premises that underlined the distinctly different views on the relationship between law and politics in the thought of Hans Kelsen and Carl Schmitt.

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Author Biography

Arkadiusz Górnisiewicz, Jagiellonian University in Kraków

PhD, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of International and Political Studies, Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His research interests include history of political thought, political philosophy and the theories of modernity. His publications include two books (Nowoczesność, nihilizm, polityka. Wokół myśli Karla Löwitha; and Wojna i nomos. Carl Schmitt o problemie porządku światowego) and three co-edited volumes (Modernity and What Has Been Lost. Considerations on the Legacy of Leo Strauss; The Problem of Political Theology; and The Concept of Constitution in the History of Political Thought). He has published in various journals, including History of European Ideas and Ratio Juris.

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Published

2021-06-05

How to Cite

Górnisiewicz, Arkadiusz. 2021. “Dispute over the Guardian of the Constitution. Hans Kelsen, Carl Schmitt and the Weimar Case”. Politeja 18 (3(72):193-214. https://doi.org/10.12797/Politeja.18.2021.72.10.