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Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political

A reading and discussion group on Carl Schmitt's "The Concept of the Political," led by Courtney Hodrick.

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Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political
Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political

Time & Location

Feb 28, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PST

Zephyr Institute, 560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

About the Event

The anthropological pessimism at the heart of Carl Schmitt's 1932 work The Concept of the Political seems to find more adherents by the moment. Could it really be the case that all of politics can be reduced, in essence, to the distinction between friends and enemies? It is a claim made more horrific by the politics of Schmitt's own life, and yet it remains frighteningly relevant today. In this seminar, we will confront Schmitt's most famous idea in three sessions of close-reading, returning to the text itself to work through Schmitt's logic and explore its applicability to our own political world.

This reading group is open to Stanford and Silicon valley community and will be led by Courtney Hodrick. Pizza dinner will be served at all sessions.

Reading assignments

We will use this edition of The Concept of the Political: Expanded Edition. Copies will be available upon request (see registration.

  • Feb 14th - pp. 19-45. Optional: "Forward: Dimensions of the New Debate Around Carl Schmitt," pp. ix-xxxi, Tracy B. Strong
  • Feb 21st - pp. 45-58, "The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations," pp. 80-96
  • Feb 28th - pp. 58-79


Courtney Hodrick is a PhD Candidate in German Studies at Stanford University. Her research focuses on 20th century German and German-Jewish thought, with an emphasis on the concept of modernity as crisis, and she is writing a dissertation on the concept of hope in the works of Hannah Arendt. She has recently published in Telos and holds a BA in Humanities (Intellectual History) from Yale.

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