Suverenita, demokracie a postnárodní konstelace: Carl Schmitt versus Jürgen Habermas
Sovereignty, democracy and the post-national constellation: Carl Schmitt versus Jürgen Habermas
This article discusses two conceptions of sovereignty, the decisionistic model of Carl Schmitt and the deliberative paradigm of Jurgen Habermas. The comparison is informed by an attempt to prove the centrality of the notion of sovereignty, as it is so seriously contested today in political theory. As a dynamic principle of the mutual constitution of legal and political order, sovereignty represents a fundamental characteristic of constitutional regimes and in the form of popular sovereignty is a key normative principle of democracy. Schmitt presents a substantive model of sovereignty, derived from radical revolutionary practice and based on a substantive notion of the people as an entity endowed with a will that finds a unique expression in the original act of decision, made outside all forms of preexisting authority. Habermas's deliberative paradigm of politics proves exceptionally convincing in articulating the critique of the substantive model of sovereignty from the vantage point of his discursive, proceduralized paradigm of law and democracy. Schmitt and Habermas thus represent a paradigmatic dispute between substance and procedure as two bases of democratic legitimacy. It is however a controversy between political substantivism and legal proceduralism that makes this juxtaposition relevant to contemporary discourses on sovereignty. Neither Schmitt, nor Habermas find an appropriate model of sovereignty based on a balanced relationship between the legal and the political.
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