The Authoritarian State: An Essay on the Problem of the Austrian State

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 1999-04-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Missouri Pr
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What is included with this book?


Published in Vienna in 1936,The Authoritarian Stateby Eric Voegelin has remained virtually unknown to the public until now. Sales of the German edition were halted following the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938, and the entire printing was later destroyed by wartime bombing. In this volume, Voegelin offers a critical examination of the most prominent European theories of state and constitutional law of the period while providing a political and historical analysis of the Austrian situation. He discusses the dismissal of Parliament in 1933, the civil war, the murder of Federal Chancellor Dollfuss, the adoption of the "Authoritarian Constitution" of 1934, and the predicament of being sandwiched between Hitler and Mussolini. A radical critique of Hans Kelsen's pure theory of law lies at the heart of this work, marking Voegelin's definitive departure from Neo-Kantian epistemology. For the first time, Voegelin elaborates on the important distinction between theoretical concepts and political symbols as a basis for explaining the nontheoretical and speculative character of ideologies, both left and right. He shows thattotalandauthoritarianare symbols of ideological self-interpretation that have no theoretical value, a distinction basic to his later work inThe New Science of Politics. Available for the first time in English,The Authoritarian Stateis a valuable addition to the Voegelin canon and to the field of intellectual history in general.

Author Biography

Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) was one of the most original and influential philosophers of our time. Born in Cologne, Germany, he studied at the University of Vienna, where he became a professor of political science in the Faculty of Law. In 1938, he and his wife, fleeing Hitler, emigrated to the United States. They became American citizens in 1944. Voegelin spent much of his career at Louisiana State University, the University of Munich, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introductionp. 1
Historical Commentary on the Periodp. 10
"Total" and "Authoritarian" as Symbols
The Elements of Meaning Contained in the Symbols "Total" and "Authoritarian"p. 57
The Austrian Constitutional Problem after 1848
The Foundation of Austrian Constitutional Theory: Baron Eotvosp. 109
The Constitutional Situation of 1848-1849p. 126
The Cycles of the Constitutionsp. 139
The Founding of the State in 1918-1920p. 147
The Authoritarian Constitution since 1933
Kelsen's Pure Theory of Law and the Problem of an Austrian Theory of the Statep. 163
The Constitutional Transition (March 1933 to May 1934)p. 213
The Core of the Authoritarian Statep. 249
The Authoritarian Chambersp. 275
The Relationship of the Executive to the Agencies of the Federal and Provincial Legislaturesp. 309
Emergency Powers Granted the Administration and Their Controlp. 332
The Directly Democratic and Constitutional Mechanismsp. 357
Bibliography to Part IIIp. 363
The Changes in the Ideas on Government and Constitution in Austria since 1918p. 367
Indexp. 381
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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