Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 164
Legitimacy/Schmitt: The Weber student translates Max Weber's concept of legitimacy, ruler-sociological and descriptive, into a differentiated legal use: there are collective convictions about the form of legitimate rule; every constitution positively supports such bases of legitimacy. As a lawyer, Schmitt makes a fundamental distinction between "dynastic" and "democratic" legitimacy, contrary to Weber's typology of legitimacy.
Although the Congress of Vienna restored dynastic legitimacy in 1815, democratic legitimacy had long since been on the advance. Schmitt's overall aim is a criticism of "democratic legitimacy". The key sentence of his paper says: "The development from 1815 to 1918 can be presented as the development of a concept of legitimacy: from dynastic to democratic legitimacy" (1). Its title could therefore be more appropriate: "The intellectual-historical situation of democratic legitimacy".
Brocker I 169
Weimar Republic/Schmitt: Schmitt's 1932 brochure Legality and Legitimacy systematically diagnosed the "contrast" between liberalism and democracy as internal tension and contradictory structure of the Weimar constitution itself. Schmitt was of the opinion that such "dualism" triggered dynamics of conflict
Brocker I 170
and initiated a constitutional change towards new answers.


1. Carl Schmitt, Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus, in: Bonner Festgabe für Ernst Zitelmann zum fünfzigjährigen Doktorjubiläum, München/Leipzig 1923, 413-473. Separatveröffentlichung in der Reihe: Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen und Reden zur Philosophie, Politik und Geistesgeschichte, Bd. 1, München/Leipzig 1923. Zweite, erweiterte Auflage 1926. S. 39.


Reinhard Mehring, Carl Schmitt, Die geistesgeschichtliche Lage des heutigen Parlamentarismus (1923), in: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Schmitt I
Carl Schmitt
Der Hüter der Verfassung Tübingen 1931

Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-02-17
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