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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

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

Duncan Kelly

British Academy

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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