RESEARCH ARTICLE politics or the political?

an historical perspective on a contemporary non-debate
kari palonen
Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University Jyva ¨skyla ¨, P.O.B. 35, Jyva ¨skyla ¨ FIN-40014, Finland E-mail:

Conceptualisations of ‘the political’ and ‘politics’ tend to diverge quite significantly from one another in contemporary literature. The origins of this split can be traced back to the works of Carl Schmitt and Max Weber. By accentuating the opposition between these conceptions, we are able to detect two different attitudes toward politics. The Schmittian ideal of the political longs for stability that extends beyond the daily quarrels of politics, whereas the Weberian thinkers understand politics as a contingent activity par excellence.


politics; the political; Max Weber; Carl Schmitt


n 1981, Re ´gis Debray, the former revolutionary and later advisor to President Franc¸ois Mitterrand, published a book with the classical title, Critique de la raison politique. He opposes politics (la politique) to the political (le politique): ‘Bref, la politique m’a longtemps masque ´ le politique’ (Debray, 1981: 13). For Debray, the decline of political activism was indeed combined with the reflection of ‘the political’ as superior to ‘mere’ politics. A number of other French authors shared this view, (see Marchart, 2003) whereas others, as the title of Alan Badiou Peut-on penser la politique (1985) indicates, have continued to reflect on the practical activity of politics. No real debate between the two

modes of conceptualisation exists in France or elsewhere. Should we understand politics by going behind the term itself to examine ‘the political’ or by rendering the activity itself more intelligible? In this essay I shall track the conceptual origins of the two perspectives to the opposition between Carl Schmitt and Max Weber. The presence of the Schmittian and Weberian problematic already played a role in the inter-war literature and is even more distinct in the post-war conceptualisations of the political and politics. Finally, I shall conclude with the thesis that the Schmittian search for the political devalues the practical activity of politics, whereas the Weberian style of
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(69 – 78) & 2007 European Consortium for Political Research. 1680-4333/07 $30

1932: 26). or other type of phenomenon. Schmitt’s understanding of the political was opposed to that of his legal colleagues. An intense thematisation of politics and the rise of controversial calls for politicisation took place in the German academic and cultural context during the years between the publication of Allgemeine Staatslehre and Der Begriff des Politischen (see Palonen. a number of other authors from various backgrounds. of course. such as the ‘political’ character of a crime or an association. He aimed at identifying the political by its categorically distinctive criteria (‘in eigenen letzten Unterscheidungen’. the literature on the political tacitly refers to Schmitt. for example. 5. Schmitt’s construction of a new ‘criterion’ for the political took place within the range of legal discourse. 1989). economic. should be recognised as relevant to the present-day debates on the concept (see Palonen. Carl Schmitt’s Der Begriff des Politischen. The catalyst for the rise of the political in recent academic literature is. 1985. 1931). Friedrich Schiller and Friedrich Schlegel had already used the term in the 1790s (see the references in Palonen. 1900: 158). (Schmitt. The demarcation of the political refers to a new level of abstraction that illustrates the increasing thematisation of the phenomenon over the course of the second half of the nineteenth century. including. and vol. Hans Morgenthau. he no longer regarded the political as a residual concept that can neither be defined in legal terms nor considered a moral. the leading constitutional lawyer Georg Jellinek used a more abstract expression of the concept of the political. In addition to Max Weber and Carl Schmitt. Schmitt. It is to this end that he proposes his famous friend–enemy distinction. ‘[d]er Begriff des Staates setzt den des Politischen voraus’. both in relation to the disputes surrounding the Weimar republican constitution and the controversy between the legal positivists and their fierce opponents (see esp. SCHMITT AND THE CONCEPT OF THE POLITICAL Both the expression ‘the political’ in English and le politique in French refer historically to translations of the German das Politische. 1929. Today. 1932: 20) is a direct inversion of Jellinek’s view. It was first published as an article in 1927. despite the notoriety of the author. 7. 1985. The use of the adjective as a noun in the expression das Politische was certainly not Schmitt’s innovation. The criteria of the political were broadly discussed particularly among constitutional and international lawyers. Karl Mannheim and Walter Benjamin. namely der Begriff des Politischen. In his Allgemeine Staatslehre. 70 european political science: 6 2007 politics or the political? . It is no longer the concept of the state but that of the political that is the key problem for constitutional lawyers.conceptualising politics as contingent activity re-values the politicians. although Schmitt himself canonised the 1932 version in 1963. 1932: 26). ‘Unterscheidung von Freund und Feind’ (Schmitt. 2006). 2006: 45–46) as referring to a distinct sphere or sector. Schmitt’s call for radical novelty to become the norm in legal discourse is marked by this emphatic turn against Jellinek’s authority. 1932: 22–26). and the book version appeared in 1932 and was subsequently revised during the Nazi regime. The question of the criterion for politics or the political was a controversial topic in the Wilhelminian and Weimar debates. although subordinating it to that of the state (Jellinek. the political can no longer be determined in terms of the state (Schmitt. Vero ¨ffentlichugen der Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer vol. For many practical purposes of legislation and jurisprudence. Schmitt’s famous opening sentence on the political as a precondition of the state. such as Heinrich Triepel (1927).

aesthetic and economic spheres and compares the political with them. is not left to the ‘struggling soldier’ (Schmitt. With the additional criterion of the necessity of political unity among friends and enemies (politische Einheit. his point is that the political does not form a separate sphere of its own. 1927: 4. Schmitt never explicates the relationship between das Politische and Politik. 1963. Plessner was a philosophical anthropologist who was indebted to Weber. As an example of this among historians. 1932: 27–28. 1932: 38). esp. is conceptually secondary to the criterion of the political. Schmitt reaffirms the exclusive character of friendship and enmity and delimits the role of the purely formal criterion of intensity. The distinction between friend and enemy by the decision (distinction) of a quasi-sovereign agent (in terms of Schmitt’s 1922 thesis) also eliminates all the ambiguous intermediate Spielraum for action. 93). such as Heinrich Triepel (1927). Schmitt. 1932: 34). 1932: 32).who still thought in terms of spheres. Schmitt later specified that the figure of the partisan is one that attempts to deny the exclusivity of the distinction between friend and enemy and. who frequently transcended his limited juridical problematic as well as the terms of his conceptualisation. as such. esp. for Schmitt. The Schmittian concept of the political constructs a metaphorical space of inclusion and exclusion. It is. Helmuth Plessner’s Macht und menschliche Natur (1931) offers the most original application of the Schmittian categories. 43–45). Accordingly. 1942). which is the activity of struggling. However. the distinction of the political alludes to a higher degree of abstraction. 1924). Der Begriff des Politischen evoked intense debates among Schmitt’s contemporaries. and he already defended politics against the popular claims of the community in his Grenzen der Gemeinschaft (Plessner. 38–39). dissolve the definite political units (Schmitt. Although Schmitt offers distinctive criteria for the moral. we can mention the medievalist Otto Brunner. correspondingly. The point is that the political does not lie in the struggle itself (Schmitt. 10–11). 1932: 35). the political decision regarding the identification of the enemy has already been made and. 1932. Plessner incorporates the friend–enemy distinction within Politik as existing in the situation of taking kari palonen european political science: 6 2007 71 . however. which is indebted to Hans Morgenthau’s dissertation from 1929 (Schmitt. who still thought in terms of spheres. From the perspective of conceptual history. Although this distinction to Sachgebiete is not clearly formulated in the first version (see Schmitt. ‘kein eigenes Sachgebiet’ (Schmitt. who uses Schmitt in his polemic against the anachronistic projection of the state onto the Middle Ages and refers to the non-territorial concept of Fehde (feud) as the mark of enmity between political units (see Brunner. although he presupposes the ‘real possibility of the struggle’ as a precondition of speaking of Politik (Schmitt.’ Politics. ‘Schmitt’s understanding of the political was opposed to that of his legal colleagues. the very act of distinguishing or deciding between friend and enemy marks an exceptional situation that refers to time and action within his thinking. the degree of intensity that gives the distinction between friend and enemy its temporal variability. which also marks the priority of structure over passing temporal events. it appears to be the result of the introduction of the degree of intensity as a supplementary component of the criterion.

1942: 270) Schmitt’s strictly juridical justifications for re-determining the criterion of the political were clearly lost in such interpretations. 1922) are constituted in terms of human activities. ‘Streben nach Machtanteil oder nach Beeinflussung der Machtverteilung’ (Weber. ‘der Wesenszug aller Politik’ (Berolzheimer. further explicate either striving or power. In some French works. 1931: 195). the conceptual reflection on politics takes place in the explication of what the actors are doing and who is acting politically. who in his Reflections on Government discusses the alternatives to democracy after World War I and analyses those writers who idealised the memory of war. Officials do not need to strive for power. Plessner. 1927: 2). the relationships between them and their contingent constellations. The notion of the striving for power as a characterisation of politics is. but instead use existing power shares. One major difference between the politician and its counter-concept. although Weber clearly takes priority. for Weber.a stand for and against (‘in einer Situation des Fu ¨r und Wider zu leben’. Schmitt’s joining the Nazi Party in May 1933 changed both his own formulations and the reception of his work both in and outside Germany. WEBER AND POLITICS AS AN ACTIVITY In a footnote. Similarly. The activity of striving receives no attention. One exception to this general rule is Ernest Barker. for Weber. the very expression le politique was regarded as belonging to the Nazi vocabulary (see Palonen. most of the textbook references to the ‘Weberian concept of politics’ do not refer to striving. In addition to Streben and Erstreben. Weber marks the contrast by presenting politics in terms of verbs referring to activities. Schmitt only sees the point in Weber’s use of power as the decisive criterion (entscheidendes Merkmal. as such. The canonisation of Weber as a sociologist and the almost total neglect of his ‘merely political’ writings also contributed to the dismissal of the action perspective on politics. The distinction creates a zone of one’s own affirmation against that of the stranger (Plessner. 72 european political science: 6 2007 politics or the political? . 1919: 9) as well as the artisan metaphor of drilling or boring planks: ‘Politik bedeutet ein starkes langsames Bohren von harten Brettern’ (Weber. 1919: 67). They are not engaged in politicking. for example. he uses the expression Politik treiben (all in Weber. Even specialists in the field frequently disregard the point that. even ‘social orders’ (see Weber. He did not. 1990: 44–45). Characteristically.’ (Barker. Plessner’s book is a strange combination of Weberian and Schmittian inspired views. nothing new. Most of the British authors who were conceptualising politics in the thirties made no reference at all either to the abstraction of ‘the political’ or to Schmitt. considered it to be essential to politics. but execute or accomplish a given policy. 1927: 2) quotes Max Weber’s formula from Politik als Beruf of politics as striving for power shares and influencing their distribution. Schmitt. 1907/1908: 243). they have no need slowly and patiently to remove the obstacles in their way in order to open up a new Spielraum for action. 1919: 8). however. Carl Schmitt (already in Schmitt. namely the official. Above all. The legal philosopher Fritz Berolzheimer. can be described in terms that refer to the differences in performance. ‘The consequent conception of politics and of the nature of ‘‘the political’’ may be seen in a pamphlet published in Germany by Dr Carl Schmitt in 1932. Friendship and enmity are thus relativised and temporalised into zones within the range of the situation at hand and the activity oriented toward it. 1931). In other words. but instead remain within the existing one.

but a contingent constellation between struggling or competing political agents. especially through the work of Raymond Aron (1938a. Weber. Nor does there exist any readily available repertoire of power shares. which was quite a discouraging development for the conceptual reflection on politics and the political. the Weberian conception inspired a number of Weimar authors. The leading metaphor of the academic discipline of political science. b). 1998). but the concept of Chance offers him a principle of the intelligibility of the contingent activity. the redistribution of power shares contains the use of existing shares as well as the creation of new shares and the dissolution or devaluation of some of the old ones. Nonetheless.’ speak of the ‘Weberian moment’ as having taken place in his twentieth century political thought (Palonen. 1998). kari palonen european political science: 6 2007 73 . anything can be turned into a crucial power share in the situation at hand. which links Weber’s political and methodological writings to one another (see Palonen. When interpreting Macht and Herrschaft in terms of chances. THE POLITICAL IN POST-WAR LITERATURE The academic study of politics became institutionalised in the western world during the post-war years. but refers instead to the openness of politics as a struggle. In a consistently nominalistic fashion. but. Now we are able to understand better how Weber and Schmitt differ in their problematics of conceptualisation. such as Louis Barthou’s portrait of the French politician (1923) or F. Weber’s Politik als Beruf was much less controversial than Schmitt’s Begriff des Politischen. In this sense. this is not a sign of the powerlessness of politics. is something which exists only in the form of singular shares and their contingent constellations. Weber (1922: 28–29) insists that they be expressed and actualised only in and through action. and his radically nominalistic action perspective was seldom recognised. Weber (1922: 28–29) insists that they be expressed and actualised only in and through action. In the British context. for him. For Schmitt. fragile and contingent activity of politics itself. not a Thing’ (Catlin. Oliver’s (1930) introduction to his study on Walpole. the political system. by contrast. In its contemporary context. for Weber. the political marks an element in politics that extends beyond its obvious contingency. there also exist other attempts to reflect upon politics from the perspective of the politician. power is not a whole that is ‘distributed’ into shares. contingency is neither merely residual nor the fortuna. For Weber. as it was canonised by David Easton (1953) and others. The contingency of politics as an activity is constituted by his concept of Chance. Power is neither property nor a given structure. fluid. to politics as ‘an Activity. an ontological foundation anchoring politics in something that is more than politics. Weber’s views soon gained international recognition – in France. In this sense.The broad range of verbs applied by Weber to describe the activity of politics indicates that there can be no guarantee that politicians will be successful. Independently of Weber. who referred. including Helmuth Plessner and Hans Morgenthau. 1929: 68). without reducing its contingency. rather. but. rather. a Weberian inspiration can also be detected in the early work of George Catlin. S. for example. we can ‘When interpreting Macht and Herrschaft in terms of chances. As such. attempts to conceptualise the passing.

In his study of the Greek origins of the political. as for Schmitt. He opposes the subpolitics of everyday agency to the systemic view of ordinary politics. 1980: 34–39). ‘[l]e politique est organisation raisonnable. pesanteur. 1980: 144–246). la politique est decision’ (Ricœur. The political thus refers to a metaphorical space within the holistic order of the system. who as a former re ´sistant was initially suspicious of Schmitt. For the phenomenologist Paul Ricœur. 1933) on international law. Similarly to Schmitt. political science was reduced more or less to a sub-discipline of sociology. In the conflict between these presuppositions dialectical relationships prevail. 2000). 1957: 729). but the difference between the juridical criterion and philosophical reason is obvious. an invariable condition of la politique (Freund. He thus plays with the ambiguity of the German concept of Entscheidung and takes from it much of the Schmittian emphasis on the closure of the situation. He retains the priority of the political. for example.signified the return to a division of sectors. Meier wants to incorporate action and time. 1965: 1–2). The political refers to the weight. The title itself. Julian Freund. still attributing a certain priority to the spatial metaphors. of the political (1965: 15). that is. politics as action is secondary to the deeper level of the political. L’essence du politique (1965). Beck thus attempts to combine action and systems thinking. Luhmann polemicises against voluntarism. the other pairs being those of command and obedience and the public and the private. the reception of Schmitt’s work among historians led to the modification of his ideas. Freund presents the political as an essence. a kind of Hegelianism without history. not to replace or revolutionise it. In Germany. but to expand politics into a Doppeltheater containing both the systemic ordinary polity and the activities of sub-politics. one of them being the political. although. and the dialectic of friendship and enmity lies in the struggle. Ulrich Beck’s ‘reinvention of politics’ (1993) has its roots in the radicalisation of risks. mediated Schmitt’s concept of the political to the French audience. Niklas Luhmann has related systems to environment (Umwelt) and attributed a constitutive role to contingency. but in the sense of its being an ‘element’ of movement between political units (1980: 36). For him. but allows room for opportunistic politicking as a part of the vitalisation of the relationship between system and environment. In the functionalist version of systems thinking. the former revolutionary Re ´gis Debray also regards the political as the 74 european political science: 6 2007 politics or the political? . perhaps unwittingly. the Schmittian friend–enemy distinction serves as one of the pre ´suppose ´s of the political. Two German sociologists have more recently attributed an autonomous role to the political. Charles de Visscher (1953) relies on the criterion of the political presented in Morgenthau’s early work (1929. Meier’s historical interpretation accentuates the opening of the horizon of decidability and controversiality as the main political novelty of the dethroning of the Areopagos and its conceptualisation by Aischylos a few years later (Meier. and activist movements. The result was the priority of order over action and struggle. already indicates a clear distinction between his thought and that of Schmitt. Instead of a criterion. he wants to incorporate politics into a constitutive element of the political ‘field’. the classicist Christian Meier revises the political into a field of action (Handlungsfeld) between political units (Meier. the individualisation of life-styles and biographies. For Freund. the imperialistic discipline of the post-war decades. In his posthumous Die Politik der Gesellschaft (Luhmann. In France. Ricœur and Freund. and it is here that we can detect Freund’s debt to Weber.

1993: 2). so little they themselves have specified how this new politics is manifested in the expression and interpretation of the activity of politics itself. 1993) or Michael Oakeshott (1962. 2005: 20–21). Still. by Hannah Arendt (1958. mean that no new ideas were presented concerning the activity-concept of politics. do the movements require different types of politicians.’ To sum up. however. each of them in their own direction. Unlike the French philosophers. feminist. 1968. including a certain disregard for the daily activities of politicians and the corresponding search for an ‘ontology’ behind politics. Mouffe wants ‘to think with Schmitt against Schmitt’ (Mouffe. For her. particularly to replace the concept of the enemy with that of the adversary (Mouffe. This does not. Rawlsian. as presented by Max Weber or. Is all of this merely the extension of the old criteria for the activity of politics. politics also remains subordinated to order as a moving historical element. 1981: 45). whereas she is not interested in the closer explication of the activity of politicians. the pluralistic character of democracy and defends agonism as opposed to antagonism. 2005: 8). 1975) to the politics of ‘movements’? Or. for example. a Francophone author writing mainly for an Anglophone audience. Still. In her Return of the Political. Mouffe is certainly not uninterested in daily politics. like the other post-Schmittian thinkers. Habermasian or even Marxist thinking. for example. Both the use of Schmitt and the softening of his views is a tool used by Mouffe against the tendency to reduce the role of the political in. incarnates the leftist reception of Schmitt’s work. it shares the Schmittian problematic of the priority of the political over politics. She thus accepts. Since then. 1993: 4.unchanging element beyond the contingency of politics. Oakeshott and Jean-Paul Sartre are three authors who in their post-war work promoted. active reflection on the question of what this means for the activity of politics itself has remained strikingly scarce. ‘Debray’s work is clearly tinged with the tone of a disappointed activist. the level of reflection on the political has significantly increased among French philosophers. He defines the critique of political reason as the study of ‘stable’ human groups. contra Schmitt. the post-war literature on the political decontextualises the concept from Schmitt’s strictly juridical aims and frees it from its ideological implications. the political refers to the constitutive ‘dimension of antagonism’. For Mouffe. THE TEMATISATION OF THE ACTIVITY OF POLITICS Although the student. their conditions of organisation and functioning (Debray. Debray’s work is clearly tinged with the tone of a disappointed activist. Much of this reflection remains strictly philosophical and far removed from the dirty world of everyday politics (see Marchart. environmental and other movements of the sixties and seventies accentuated the activity of politics beyond the conventional polity-sphere. 2003). although his views are more inspired by the structuralist thinkers. whereas ‘by ‘‘politics’’ I mean the set of practices and institutions through which an order is created’ (2005: 9). Chantal Mouffe. the instrumentalisation of kari palonen european political science: 6 2007 75 . she looks beyond politics to the ‘ontological’ level of the political (Mouffe. Arendt. Such a study aims at the understanding of the limits of the entire political project (enterprise) (1981: 60). perhaps less formalistic and less institutional ones? So much the agents in those or later contexts spoke of the need for a ‘new politics’.

and he defends the oblique and persuasive activity of the situated politician against the paradigm of the social engineer (Sartre.’ of them legitimate. For example. From this perspective. 1964). The search for the political. From this point of view. but clarifying the opposition helps us to understand the lack of debate. it would be senseless to go ‘behind’ politics in order to understand it. John Pocock once published an article entitled ‘Verbalizing the political act’ (Pocock. 2002: 7). Here. 1968: 177). which can then be explicated and interpreted in greater detail. Part of the problem may lie in the very self-conception of those who THE POINT OF THE NON-DEBATE The political in the Schmittian and politics-as-activity in the Weberian sense transcend much of the harmless daily or academic uses of the polit-vocabulary. For both. 1973). B. 1962) and Bertrand de Jouvenel (1963). the Weberian inspiration is clearly visible. whether as a philosophical foundation or an ‘ontological’ instance of stability. and Quentin Skinner recently affirmed that ‘perhaps agency after all deserves to be privileged over structure’ (Skinner. They indicate different problematics. The problematic also has different value orientations. the contingent – temporal. Historians tend to be better at this than political scientists. Sartre was among the first to regard politics as a ‘dimension of person’ (Sartre. No real debate between the problematics of the political and politics appears in sight. ‘Politik als Beruf remains the best study to date on the activity of politics. Oakeshott’s famous metaphor of politics as ‘sailing on a boundless and bottomless sea’ (1962: 60) is an indication of his strong anti-foundationalism. 1998). The action perspective is also close to the thought of those authors who have closely followed the acts of politicians. and the attempts such as Plessner’s and Freund’s to combine them hardly sound convincing. for example J. the highly academic search for the political comes close to joining the chorus of the widespread popular opinions expressed in politician-bashing. The scholars of politics should rather attempt to understand better the activity of politicking. Miller (1958. it is the very activity of contingent politicking that is the main objective of its understanding. 2002). The reverse side of this attitude lies in the lack of interest in the dirty world of ‘mere’ politics. and she uses the metaphor of the performing arts to refer to politics (esp. Here. both 76 european political science: 6 2007 politics or the political? .contingency as a medium of the intelligibility of politics (in the sense of Palonen. politicians seldom have either the time or the desire to explicate what they are doing at the very moment at which they are acting as politicians. passing and rhetorical – aspect of the activity of politics necessarily remains unintelligible. Arendt. we can already detect a link to the rhetorical tradition. On the contrary. 1972: 261–262). Journalists often do a better job of that than politicians themselves. and this is largely due to Weber’s high regard for politicians (see Palonen. A new legitimation of the study of politics through the activity of politicians has been presented in the new rhetoric and the speech act theory. D. The Arendtian view accentuates the distinction of politics as action from fabrication by the criterion of novelty. may be understood as an attempt to create a legitimate place for the political in the order of things. and scholars should take politicians’ own words as the first step in the assessment of their activity.

C. (1938b[1970]) La philosophie critique de l’histoire. H. Leipzig: Noske. and his personal observations and experiences also played a crucial role in his writings. Max Weber was a life-long homo politicus. B. Paris: Gallimard. J. M. Leicester: University of Leicester. Morgenthau. Jellinek. Oakeshott. Miller. Oxford: Clarendon Press. The reason why I consider Max Weber and not Carl Schmitt as marking the turning point in the understanding of politics is precisely because of his attempt not only to understand but also to re-value the activity of politicians. G. enlarged edition. (1929) Die internationale Rechtspflege. New York: Knopf. Catlin. H. For Weber. de Jouvenel. Bru ¨nn: Rohrer. 1918). Beck. J. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp. H. Berolzheimer. (1993) Die Erfindung des politics academically as ‘social scientists’. (1923) Le Politique. E. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp. G. Oxford: Clarendon Press.B. Politik als Beruf remains the best study to date on the activity of politics. Aron. Paris: Vrin. (1907/08) ‘Politik als Wissenschaft. Meier. Easton.G. He keenly commented on daily events and occasionally served as a critical advisor to politicians such as Friedrich Naumann. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. How they accomplish this is a fascinating topic.D. J. (1981) Critique de la raison politique. and from time to time they are obliged to revise both their stands and the legitimation of them.B. D. F. (1953) The Political System. He recognised that professional politicians are an indispensable component of a parliamentary democracy. Archiv fu ¨r Rechts. Paris: Sirey. London: Duckworth. Barker. London: Allen and Unwin. An Inquiry into Post-Foundational Political Thought’. (1900) Allgemeine Staatslehre. kari palonen european political science: 6 2007 77 . Arendt. H. (1938a[1981]) Introduction ` a la philosophie de l’histoire. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp. (2000) Die Politik der Gesellschaft. However. democracy. A.D. Mouffe. M. C.E. (1993) Was 1st Politik? in Ursula Ludz (ed. legislation. Paris: Seuil. Brunner. Ihr Wesen und ihre Grenzen’. (2005) On the Political. (1942) Reflections on Government.) Mu ¨nchen: Piper. (1968[1977]) Between Past and Future. Morgenthau. O. An inaugural lecture. R. R. U. Paris: Gallimard. Faced with escalating contingency and a wide variety of political action. Department of Political Science. Paris: Hachette. (1958) Politicians. Miller. (1942) Land und Herrschaft. C. (1993) The Return of the Political. Mouffe. (1980) Die Entstehung des Politischen bei den Griechen. Debray. the contingent aspect of the activity itself serves as a source of its intelligibility. (1958) The Human Condition. etc is quite understandable. Berlin: Ha ¨ring. Indianapolis: Liberty Press. the urge to retreat into a search for ontological narratives on the essence of politics. PhD dissertation.und Wirtschaftsphilosophie 1: 210–218. Arendt. (2003) ‘Politics and the Political. Oakeshott. 2002). particularly as persons with both the will and the competence to question the powers of bureaucracy (see Weber. (1929) A Study of the Principles of Politics. London: Routledge. The interest in the political also provides the scholar with an excuse to retain a pro-political attitude while remaining disinterested in the actions of politicians. References Arendt. H. Marchart. politicians exist within a highly competitive and contested environment. (1962[1991]) Rationalism in Politics. (1985) Peut-on penser la politique?. O. (1963) The Pure Theory of Politics. Freund. N. Badiou. Aron. L. (1965[1981]) L’essence du politique. (1975[1991]) On Human Conduct. and this is largely due to Weber’s high regard for politicians (see Palonen. Paris: Sirey. (1962) The Nature of Politics. London: Verso. Harmondsworth: Penguin. R. (1933) La notion du ‘politique’ et les diffe ´rends internationaux. University of Essex. Barthou. Luhmann. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

H. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. (1985) Politik als Handlungsbegriff. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag. Sartre. (2002) Eine Lobrede fu ¨r Politiker. 11–133. (2002) Visions of Politics 1. Berlin: de Gruyter. Paris: Gallimard. de Visscher. K. K. Sartre. Palonen. M. Weber. (1922[1980]) Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft.S. Weber. in Situations. Archiv fu ¨r Begriffsgeschichte 30: 224–234. Jahrhunderts. Vero ¨ffentlichugen der Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer (1931) vol. Paris: Pedone. 202–302. (1963[1975]) Theorie des Partisanen. (1931[1981]) ‘Macht und menschliche Natur’. K. K. Palonen. Palonen. J. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp. Max-WeberStudienausgabe. 127–145. pp.A. 78 european political science: 6 2007 politics or the political? . Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica. Schmitt. Gesammelte Schriften. 5. (1924[1981]) ‘Grenzen der Gemeinschaft’. Archiv fu ¨r Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 58: 1–33. Political Theory 1: 27–45. P. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. C. (1957) ‘Le paradoxe politique’. Vol. Esprit 26/I: 721–745. Berlin: Duncker and Humblot. (1927) Staatsrecht und Politik. (1930) The Endless Adventure. Opladen: Leske and Budrich. I/15. Schmitt. 1979]) Der Begriff des Politischen. pp. Palonen. Berlin: Dunker and Humblot. Recent publications include Quentin Skinner (2003). London: Macmillan. and editor of Redescriptions: Yearbook of Political Thought and Conceptual History. (1919[1926]) Politik als Beruf.-P. (1964[1972]) ‘L’alibi’. Zur Kontingenz des Politischen. About the Author Kari Palonen is Professor of Political Science at the University of Jyva ¨skyla ¨. pp. 7 Berlin: de Gruyter. (1998) Das ‘Webersche Moment’. Eine Interpretation der Geschichte des Begriffs Politik im Frankreich des 20. Triepel. Ricœur. K. Paris: Gallimard. (1918[1988]) ‘Parlament und Regierung im neugeordneten Deutschland’. Vol. Pocock.G. Schmitt. (2006) The Struggle with Time.-P. Skinner. (1973) ‘Verbalizing a political act’. Weber. 135–234. Finland. Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica. Frankfurt/M: Suhrkamp. C. Palonen. Mu ¨nster: LIT. C. A conceptual history of ‘politics’ as an activity. Schmitt. M. H. Palonen. C. Berlin: de Gruyter. Tu ¨bingen: Mohr. C. J. (1922[1979]) Politische Theologie. VIII. Gesammelte Schriften. (1927) ‘Der Begriff des Politischen’. Q. (1990) Die Thematisierung der Politik als Pha ¨nomen. H. (1932[1963. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vero ¨ffentlichugen der Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer (1929) vol. Plessner. Die Entzauberung der Begriffe (2004) and The Struggle with Time (2006). tome III.Oliver. (1972) L’idiot de la famille. M. J. Horizontwandel des Politikbegriffs in Deutschland 1890– 1933. F. (1989) ‘Korrekturen zur Geschichte von ‘‘Politisierung’’’. K. Plessner. V. Tu ¨bingen: Mohr. (1953[1960]) The ´ories et re ´alite ´s en droit international public. co-founder of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group. pp. V.

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