Carl Schmitt’s Legacy in International Law Volksgruppenrecht Theory and European Grossraum Ideas from the End of World War II into the Present Day
Prof. Dr. Samuel Salzborn

This article looks at Carl Schmitt’s “legacy” in international law, namely his ideas of Grossraum (“greater area”) in connection to völkisch (“ethnonationalist”) conceptions of minorities’ policies. It illustrates how Schmitt’s conception of Grossraum theory, which was a key concept of the National Socialist worldview, was further developed in the postwar era by a special branch of international law for a “völkisch defined Europe”. To do so, it begins by analyzing three central dimensions in Schmitt’s approach: legitimation in law, Volk/Volkstum policy (concerning ethno national “folk” peoples and their distinctive characteristic “folkdoms”) and geopolitically framed international law. It goes on to show how these were taken up and further developed ideologically in the Grossraum concepts of postwar Volksgruppenrecht theory (concerning “folk-group” rights and legal frameworks). Here, the focus is not only on demands of autonomy for minorities understood as Volksgruppen, but also on the implementation of an ethno regionalism and ethnic particularist federalism set against the vision of a democratic Europe. The ideologies seen as Carl Schmitt’s “legacy” in international law thus have the goal of disempowering nation-state sovereignty, as well as shattering democratic nations and reordering them into ethnically homogenous Volksgruppen in a European Grossraum

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpt.v4n2a2