Citizens into wolves? Carl Schmitt’s fictive account of security

Moore, Thomas (2011) Citizens into wolves? Carl Schmitt’s fictive account of security. Cooperation and Conflict, 46 (4). pp. 502-520. ISSN 0010-8367

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL:


This article assesses the extent to which security regimes are the products of authorization in the thought of Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. The Hobbesian security regime offers a contingent construction of security in terms of processes of authorization and brings into view questions about the epistemic construction of security within security discourse today. The Schmittian concept of security involves the naturalization of security through the state, meaning that security is understood as condition rather than regime. Rather than look to Carl Schmitt’s concept of security as the paradigm of international security today, there are clear benefits in returning to the contractual account of security evident in the Hobbesian emphasis on authorization. Security is not the primary value of political community, but the means by which political communities realize their internal goods. Schmitt’s security regime is fictive, driven by colourful metaphor and political theology. By returning to classic questions of authorization—how a security regime authorizes itself—International Relations theory can examine the legitimation of security beyond an exclusively state-centric model.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Rachel Wheelhouse
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2012 15:21
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2012 15:21

Actions (login required)

Edit Item (Repository staff only) Edit Item (Repository staff only)