Main Article Content



The aim of the present paper is to disclose the structural affinities between Carl Schmitt and Friedrich Hayek regarding the concept of parliamentary democracy. Identifying Hayek’s neoliberal thinking with Schmitt’s theoretical justification of fascism would apparently be an a-historical overgeneralization. While Schmitt develops a model of absolute sovereignty relying on the sovereign’s decision on the state of exception, Hayek envisages the historical realization of those conditions allowing the market competition to flourish. Schmitt’s model subjugates market to an omnipotent state whereas Hayek views the latter as an engine abetting the free market competition.   

A closer reading, however, could discern affinities behind the seemingly opposed models of the two thinkers. 

Schmitt’s model of an emergency dictatorship and Hayek’s nomocracy are two different responses and attacks to the Left’s attempt to construct a democratic welfare state in the Weimar Republic and postwar Europe. Schmitt advocates the concentration of political power in a totalitarian state as the sole “remedy” to the democratic contamination of liberalism induced by the politicization of civil society. Similarly, Hayek castigates any state intervention taking the form of the welfare state but endorses a powerful state entrusted with the role of securing the conditions of market competition. 

Article Details

How to Cite


Agamben, G. (2005), State of Exception, transl. by Kevin Attell, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Aristotle, (1901), The Politics, translated with an analysis and critical notes by J. E. C. Welldon, London, Macmillan.

Brown, W. (2015), Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, New York, Zone Books.

Christi, F. R. (1984), “Hayek and Schmitt on the Rule of Law,” Canadian Journal of Political Science, 17:3, 521-535.

Dardot, P. and Laval, C. (2014), The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society, London, Verso.

Dardot, P. and Laval, C. (2019), Never Ending Nightmare: The Neoliberal Assault on Democracy, London, Verso.

Denord, F., “Aux Origines du Neo-liberalisme en France. Louis Rougier et le Colloque Walter Lippmann de 1938,” (Le Mouvement Social, 195, April-June 2001, p. 9-34).

Dostaler, G. (2001), Le Liberalisme de Hayek, Paris, Editions La Decouverte.

Foucault, M. (2008), The Birth of Biopolitics. Lectures at the College de France 19781979, London, Palgrave Macmillan.

Gissurarson, H. H. (1987), Hayek’s Conservative Liberalism, London, Garland Press.

Gray, J. (1986), Hayek on Liberty, (second edition), Oxford: Blackwell.

Hayek, F. A. (1978a), The Constitution of Liberty, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Hayek, F. A., (edit.) (1978b), New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and the History of Ideas, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hayek, F. A. (1982), Law, Legislation and Liberty. A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economy, v. 3: The Political Order of a Free People, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Hayek, F. A. (1982), Law, Legislation and Liberty. A New Statement of the Liberal Principles of Justice and Political Economy, v. 2: The Mirage of Social Justice, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Hayek, F. A. (2001), The Road to Serfdom, London, Routledge.

Hobbes, T. (1996), Leviathan, ed. by Richard Tuck, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Irving, Sean (2018), Limiting democracy and framing the economy: Hayek, Schmitt and ordoliberalism, History of European Ideas, 44:1, 113-127

Kant, I. (1992), Political Writings, edited by Hans Reiss, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lippman, W. (1937), An Enquiry into the Principles of the Good Society, Boston, Little Brown.

Mill, J. S. (2003), On Liberty, edited by David Bromwich and George Kateb, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Polanyi, K. (2001), The Great Transformation, The political and economic origins of our time, with a forward by J. Stiglitz, Boston, Beacon Press.

Scheuerman, W. E. (2020), The End of Law: Carl Schmitt in the Twenty-First Century, London, Rowman & Littlefield International.

Schmitt, C. (2000), The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy [1923, 1926], transl. Ellen Kennedy, Cambridge, The MIT Press.

Schmitt, C. (2003), Der Leviathan [1938], Stuttgart, Klett-Cotta.

Schmitt, C. (2005), Political Theology [1922/1934], translation and introduction by George Schwab, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.