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The State of the PoliticalConceptions of Politics and the State in the Thought of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Franz Neumann$
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Duncan Kelly

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262870

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262870.001.0001

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Unmasking the ‘personality’ of the state—Max Weber, Staatsrechtslehre, and the modern state

Unmasking the ‘personality’ of the state—Max Weber, Staatsrechtslehre, and the modern state

Chapter:
(p.73) 3 Unmasking the ‘personality’ of the state—Max Weber, Staatsrechtslehre, and the modern state
Source:
The State of the Political
Author(s):

Duncan Kelly

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197262870.003.0003

This chapter examines Max Weber's rejection of an idea central to nineteenth-century Staatsrechtslehre. This is the notion that the state itself is a ‘personality’. After outlining some of the main tenets of this tradition, the chapter seeks to show how Weber, borrowing from the work of Georg Jellinek in particular, retains a conceptual understanding of the state that stresses its position at the apex of political life. He nevertheless rejected the formalism of Jellinek's modified legal-positivist argument, which had resulted in his famous two-sided (one legal, the other political-sociological) account of the state. Weber insisted that the state could only be properly discussed as a relationship of domination, and in an empirical-sociological and comparative manner at that.

Keywords:   Staatsrechtslehre, Max Weber, Georg Jellinek, political life, liberalism, state-legal theory

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