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Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-Speaking World

Reorienting the Political

Kai Marchal and Carl K. Y. Shaw - Contributions by Harald Bluhm; Jianhong Chen; Thomas Fröhlich; Chuan-wei Hu; Kuan-min Huang; Shu-Perng Hwang; Charlotte Kroll; Han Liu; Kai Marchal; Christopher Nadon; Carl K. Y. Shaw and Mario Wenning

Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-Speaking World: Reorienting the Political examines
the reception of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in China and Taiwan. The legacies of both
Schmitt, the German legal theorist and thinker who joined the Nazi party, and Strauss, the
German-Jewish classicist and political philosopher who became famous after his emigration
to the United States, are highly controversial. Since the 1990s, however, these thinkers have
had a powerful resonance for Chinese scholars. Today, when Chinese intellectuals debate the
Chinese state, the future role of China in the world, the liberal international order, and even
the meaning of Confucian civilization, they often employ Schmittian and Straussian concepts
like “the political,” “friend–enemy,” “state of exception,” “liberal education,” and “natural
right.” The very possibility of a genuine Chinese political theory is often thought to be tied to
the legacy of these two thinkers.

This volume explores this complex phenomenon with a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary
approach. The twelve essays in this volume are written from a range of perspectives by philosophers,
political theorists, historians, and legal scholars from China, Germany, Taiwan,
and the United States.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 290Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-3626-4 • Hardback • February 2017 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-4985-3627-1 • eBook • February 2017 • $99.00 • (£65.00)
Kai Marchal is associate professor in the philosophy department of National Chengchi University.

Carl K. Y. Shaw is research fellow at the Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, and professor in the Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University.
Chapter 1 Three Strategies for Criticizing Liberalism and Their Continued Relevance
Chapter 2 Toward a Radical Critique of Liberalism: Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in Contemporary Chinese Discourses
Chapter 3 From “Carl Schmitt on Mao” to “Carl Schmitt in China”: Unsettled Issues and Unsettling Continuities
Chapter 4 The Tyranny of Values: Reflections on Schmitt and China
Chapter 5 Reading the Temperature Curve: Sinophone Schmitt-Fever in Context and Perspective
Chapter 6 Carl Schmitt Redux: Law and the Political in Contemporary Global Constitutionalism
Chapter 7 Carl Schmitt in Taiwanese Constitutional Law: An Incomplete Reception of Schmitt’s Constitutional Theory
Chapter 8 Leo Strauss’s Critique of the Political in a Sinophone Context
Chapter 9 Modernity, Tyranny, and Crisis: Leo Strauss in China
Chapter 10 On Leo Strauss as Negative Philosopher
Chapter 11 Mirror or Prism for Chinese Modernity? A Reading of Leo Strauss
Chapter 12 Toward a Taiwanese Cultural Renaissance: A Straussian Perspective
This rich volume sparkles with insight as a dozen scholars describe and debate the appropriation of Schmitt and Strauss in the contemporary Sinophone world. Anyone seeking to understand and then engage with Chinese criticism of liberalism and skepticism of Western modernity should start here.
Stephen C. Angle, Professor of Philosophy and East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University

Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Chinese-Speaking World does much more than contribute to the developing literature on cross-cultural political theory. By approaching Schmitt and Strauss from (a) Chinese perspective(s), the authors give us a much more complex understanding of these scholars. They show that the contemporary Chinese appropriation of Schmitt and Strauss leads not to a misunderstanding of those thinkers but to ‘a creative appropriation of foreign ideas for the sake of a new articulation of Chinese cultural and political identity.’ Thus this volume not only deepens our understanding of these two important anti-liberal thinkers but gives us a much more complex picture of the meaning of modernity as it has developed over the last 120 years and not only in China. Necessary reading not only for Schmitt and Strauss but for all interested in China and the meanings of modernity.
Tracy Strong, University of Southampton and UCSD Distinguished Professor, emeritus

Calls to globalize political thought are rife, but few publications offer a concrete or sustained consideration of the specific issues driving truly global thinking about politics. This volume is a notable and brilliant exception. Its nuanced and comprehensive examination of how Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss are being interpreted in the Chinese-speaking world today draws on the expertise of a range of scholars from all over the world to think critically about the meaning and promise of this exchange. This volume promises to define the terms of such research for years to come.
Leigh Jenco, London School of Economics and Political Science

This volume represents comparative political theory at its very best. It will be essential reading not only for those interested in contemporary Chinese thought but also for scholars and students everywhere grappling with the ideas of Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss.
Mark Lilla, Columbia University