Call for Papers
International Conference on “Political Philosophies across the National Context: Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Sinophone World”
Center for Political Thought, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
September 1-2, 2014
At least to Western observers, it must come as a surprise that Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss are at the center of intellectual debate in contemporary Chinese societies. In the earlier stage of democratization in Taiwan, Schmitt’s idea of “constituent power” was also important for the constitutional theories exploring the transition from authoritarian constitutionalism to a democratic one. In recent years, the writings of Schmitt and Strauss have become the object of intense debate among Chinese intellectuals. Quite a few of them attempt to re-think issues like liberalism, democracy, globalization and international law by the means of Schmittian and Straussian concepts. Some even think that the legacy of Leo Strauss might help Chinese scholars to reformulate the original questions at the heart of their own tradition of thought.
The International Conference “Political Philosophies across the National Context: Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss in the Sinophone World” aims at investigating the reception of Schmitt and Strauss in the Chinese cultural context. It is rather obvious that the Chinese interest in Schmitt and Strauss echoes the widespread disillusionment of Chinese intellectuals with earlier attempts to introduce Western liberal ideas into China. Thus, the reception of Schmitt and Strauss in China might be nothing but an ideological stance which reflects the particular situation of contemporary China. At the same time, however, it can be argued that the interest in Schmitt and Strauss represents an attempt to overcome the confines of Communist ideology by rediscovering the intellectual resources of Chinese civilization. In this sense, the analysis of this particular intellectual constellation promises to provide us with important insights into the intellectual landscape of post-communist China. Furthermore, we have reason to believe that the Chinese interest in Schmitt and Strauss also has an important trans-cultural dimension which needs to be investigated on a more theoretical level. For example, what mode of political philosophy can be established when Schmitt and Strauss encounter the Chinese intellectual tradition? What exactly is the meaning of Schmitt’s and Strauss’ critique of liberal democracy in a non-Western environment? If it is true that the process of globalization should be seen not as diminishing, but rather as intensifying conflict between cultures and political communities, what are the consequences for political philosophy? Although both Schmitt and Strauss are the products of the crisis of Weimar, might it be the case that certain ideas and issues with which Schmitt and Strauss were struggling resonate with the history of Chinese thought? And, finally, what does all this mean for the political future of China, Taiwan, East-Asia, and the world?
These are some of the questions which we hope to discuss during our conference. The conference welcomes contributions from the scholars all over the world, and will be conducted in English.
If you are interested in participating in the conference, please fill the attached form or send the title and abstract of your paper as well as your CV via Email to: Mr. Tien-Cheng Wu (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com) before February 15, 2014. The Center for Political Thought will contact you if your proposal can be integrated into the agenda of the conference. For those papers which deal with the Schmitt-Strauss legacies with the Taiwanese political theory will be considered with priority.