"Perpetual War or Perpetual Peace? Schmitt, Habermas, and Theories of American Empire"
Inhalt: "Since WWI, U.S. foreign policy intellectuals divided into "realist" and "liberal" camps. While the realists prided themselves on their hard-headed Hobbesian view of power-politics, liberals looked to Kant, Adam Smith and Benjamin Constant for a vision of peace through economic interdependence. Since 9-11-01, the U.S. has overturned the century-long dispute between liberals and realists in favor of a radical vision of elective war and U.S. hegemony. In his presentation, Matthew Specter reviews the most recent U.S. critiques of American empire, and argues that critics have been too quick to dismiss the international rule of law as an inherently flawed project. Using the political theories of Carl Schmitt (1898–1985) and Jürgen Habermas (*1929) as exemplars of modern realism and liberalism respectively, Matthew Specter asks whether the rule of law embodied in institutions like the U.N. merely mask imperial power, as Schmitt influentially argued, or whether law and power can be reconciled in the manner proposed by Habermas, or others."
Matthew Specter, M.A., is Ph.D. candidate in modern European intellectual history at Duke University. Prior to Duke, he studied European intellectual history, literature, and social theory at Harvard and Brown Universities. The 2003/2004 Duke/IFK_Junior Fellow, he is now completing his dissertation which is entitled "Legality and Legitimacy: Jürgen Habermas’s Reconstruction of German Political Thought." A recipient of a fellowship from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, he has also worked for Harper's magazine, Globalvision TV, the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C., and the N.Y.U. Center for War, Peace and the News Media.
Recent Publications: Reinventing "Allgemeine Staatslehre"? Habermas and the Identity of German Political Science. Conference on "The Rise and Impact of the Social Sciences", Center for European Studies, Harvard University (2002); The Origins of Habermas’s Political Thought in the Discourse on the Social Question in West German Constitutional Debate, National Humanities Center, North Carolina (2003) (red)
Ort: IFK, Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Reichsratsstraße 17, 1010 Wien.