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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellow's Seminar - Ptolemy's Disciples and the Nomos of the Earth: The Structure of Geopolitical Space in German Thought (1890-1950)

30th October 2017, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Dr Jörg Kreienbrock (Northwestern University)


This paper traces the infamous notion of Germany being a people without space (Volk ohne Raum) as the most radical version of an ideology, which roots politics in geopolitical notions of Lebensraum. These forms of planetary thinking (Heidegger) are based on the idea of the world being structured by a concrete living environment, not an abstract political or mathematical ideal. They are most explicitly expressed in Gottfried Benn’s novella Ptolemy’s Disciples and Carl Schmitt’s study The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of Jus Publicum Europaeum. Benn, Schmitt and others insist that the configuration of organic life-space resists its integration into a geometrical model, calling for political strategies that are simultaneously geo-and biopolitical.

Places are limited at these lunchtime seminars and so any academic colleagues interested in attending, should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

Contact for more information about this event.