The concept of nomos has emerged as a key category in Carl Schmitt’s work in recent years receiving comment in political theory, legal studies, geography and international relations. Schmitt’s account of nomos as the fundamental relation between ‘order and orientation’, law and space, has taken its place alongside the other concepts commonly associated with his name: the political, the enemy and the sovereign exception. This growing interest in Schmitt’s nomos can be accounted for in part by the English translation of his 1950 masterwork The Nomos of the Earth (2003) and Giorgio Agamben’s use of the term in his influential Homo Sacer series. Likewise the return to questions of ‘world order’ in the wake of the 911 attacks, the ‘war on terror’ and the apparent faltering of neoliberal capital appear to have given the concept an added relevance to the political concerns of the present. Despite this growth of interest there has not been significant or sustained critical attention given to the concept itself and the role it plays in Schmitt’s work, that of other thinkers or the broader questions it bares upon. This workshop aims to approach the concept of nomos as the lens through which to understand the relationship between political ordering, spatiality and history that underlies Schmitt’s thought. By focusing on nomos it is hoped that fundamental questions regarding the nature of Schmitt’s geopolitics, his philosophy of history and political theology and their relationship to both his politics and the ontological groundings of his work can be examined more closely.
This event has been recorded and is available as a podcast at the following URL:
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