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Foto på Anthoula Malkopoulou.

Anthoula Malkopoulou

Docent | Universitetslektor

Foto på Anthoula Malkopoulou.

Hermann Heller on Politics : Discipline, Sphere and Activity

Författare

  • Anthoula Malkopoulou

Summary, in English

Most students of politics are familiar with Carl Schmitt’s definition of politics as a friend-enemy distinction. Yet, only few know of alternative conceptions of politics in interwar Germany that emphasize cooperation and legality over confrontation and decisionism. To unlock such views, this article examines the work of Hermann Heller, a social-democratic constitutional theorist, and takes a close look at his conceptualization of politics as a sphere, activity and discipline. For Heller, ‘the political’ consists in turning human conflict into social cooperation. For him, the political may be conflictual, but is also conditioned by shared norms and agreed rules. By consequence, to act politically means to order the antagonistic social relations that are typical of every human society. In this sense, politics is a purposeful activity, but one which leaves the content of every decision unconfined and the potentialities that follow endless. Like politicians, politics scholars must reflect on ethical and legal principles, while remaining focused on context-specific political problems. The study of politics cannot be disconnected from the study of law, ethics and social reality. Heller’s work showed that the way we conceive of politics is directly related to the way we study politics and vice-versa.

Avdelning/ar

  • Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Publiceringsår

2020-03-25

Språk

Engelska

Sidor

393-404

Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie

History of European Ideas

Volym

46

Issue

4

Dokumenttyp

Artikel i tidskrift

Förlag

Pergamon Press Ltd.

Ämne

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • History of Ideas

Nyckelord

  • Hermann Heller
  • politics
  • the political
  • German political thought
  • Political theory
  • social cooperation

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Övrigt

  • ISSN: 0191-6599