Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Steinbock, Anthony


This project involves a sustained investigation into the sense of the enemy. Chapter one begins by focusing on a common understanding of the enemy found within our homeworld: the political enemy. As will become clear, this mode of encountering the enemy has become the dominant framework for understanding the enemy in our liberal-democratic home. Our task at this point is to identify the political elements from which our mode of understanding the enemy emerges. Once this dominant understanding has been developed, I will treat it as a clue for a fuller investigation into the sense of the enemy. In chapter two, we see that even positions critical of liberal-democratic thought tend to occupy a similar political understanding of the enemy. Working with the writings of Carl Schmitt, we observe how even his critical posture towards the liberal-democratic understanding of the enemy is itself operating within a similar articulation of the enemy. I argue that Schmitt's articulation is similar to the liberal-democratic articulation in that they are both modern in nature. The task of the third chapter is to understand the problematic aspects of the modern understanding of our world so as to clear the way for a fuller understanding of the enemy. This is followed by the fourth chapter that is devoted to finding a way to think outside of the modern liberal-democratic model of politics that regulates our homeworld understanding of the enemy. In so doing, chapters three and four help us find an opening into a more essential structure organizing the sense of the enemy. Once this goal is accomplished, the final chapter investigates the way we encounter the enemy within generative and intersubjective lived experience.




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