Nationalism and "The State" in Interwar Political Thought: Carl Schmitt and Eric Voegelin

Pedro T. Magalhães

Research output: Conference materialsAbstractpeer-review


This paper analyses the role played by the concept of nation in the interwar writings of Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) and Eric Voegelin (1901–1985). Combining the tools of intellectual history with morphological ideological analysis, it contends that, although these conservative thinkers were drawn to the anti-progressive plasticity of nationalist ideas, the centre of their political and theoretical horizons in that period is occupied by the idea of “the state”. Such a fixation on a monistic conception of the state, in turn, lead them to neglect its disruptive potential as a modern apparatus of rule capable of instilling radical change, and to embrace the political solutions put forward by the emerging authoritarian “strongmen” on the right. Each in their own way, and against their specific intellectual and political backgrounds, the two authors tested the porous borders between conservatism, nationalism, and fascism—a topic whose scholarly and political relevance is far from being exhausted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventIPSA World Congress - Virtual
Duration: 10 Jul 202115 Jul 2021


ConferenceIPSA World Congress
Internet address

Fields of Science

  • 5171 Political Science

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