Carl Schmitt (1888-1985) appropriated the early modern tradition of political thought to his own juridical and political writings. By examining Schmitt's use of this tradition, it is possible to decipher the structure of his own political philosophy and better understand his polemic.
This article therefore discusses the key sources and concepts that informed his understanding of the state and interstate relations. The main focus is on Schmitt’s engagement with Hobbes, Bodin and Gentili. It becomes clear that Schmitt's appropriation of their thought is selective
and that his deliberate silence about certain aspects of Hobbes's or Gentili's theories in particular is almost as telling as his deliberate use of their arguments.