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Theorising Schmitt’s friend-enemy through Deleuzian folding and first-person shooters

Cook, I. (2009) Theorising Schmitt’s friend-enemy through Deleuzian folding and first-person shooters. symploke, 17 (1-2). pp. 215-230.

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The friend-enemy distinction is one of the most influential concepts of modern politics. It dominates both theory and practice in international relations and conditions the imaginations of political leaders and those they lead. For realists, friend-enemy manifests an individual disposition writ large, as they project a Hobbesian conception of the state of nature onto an international level. War, for Hobbes, “is first and foremost a de facto condition of human nature,” and is a result of “the passions of human beings” (Thivet 2008, 702, 705). For realists, “states are motivated by a survival instinct…” (Maoz, Terris, Kuperman, and Talmud 2007, 101). Schmitt’s importance, in this context, is as “the forerunner of political realism, as exemplified in the work of Hans Morgenthau, E. H. Carr and Hedley Bull” (Chandler 2008, 45). Indeed, unlike the approach of the Greeks of the classical era, who “did not place friendship directly into a relation to war…[,] the modern notion of ‘the friend’ already includes this relation in the opposition between ‘the friend’ and ‘the enemy’, as Schmitt has already argued in The Concept of the Political…” (Lambert 2008, 44).

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
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