Carl Schmitt (2017). Ex Captivitate Salus: Experiences, 1945-47

Emil Archambault


Ex Captivitate Salus is a strikingly unique book in the canon of Schmittian works. Presentedas an introspective reflection by Schmitt on his life and position within world history, it was– unlike Glossarium and the other diaries being published – deliberately prepared for publication, as a sort of public justification. At the same time, it is – unlike most of Schmitt’s works on political or legal theory – presented through personal experiences and recollections, above all the experience of his internment after the Second World War. Despite this personal tone, the intellectual significance of Ex Captivitate Salus should not be discounted, as it contains crucial reflections on the role of enmity, resistance, and the trajectory of world history, as well as reinterpretations of earlier arguments and prefigurations of later turns in Schmitt’s work. In this new translation, Matthew Hannah (the translator), Andreas Kalyvas and Federico Finchelstein (the editors) introduce this neglected work by Schmitt to the Anglophone public in an excellent, clear, and well-contextualised version that should cement the central place of Ex Captivitate Salus in Schmittian scholarship.

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