Published in Vienna in 1936, The Authoritarian State by Eric Voegelin has remained virtually unkwn to the public until w. 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 ntheoretical and speculative character of ideologies, both left and right. He shows that total and authoritarian are symbols of ideological self-interpretation that have theoretical value, a distinction basic to his later work in The New Science of Politics. Available for the first time in English, The Authoritarian State is a valuable addition to the Voegelin can and to the field of intellectual history in general.
About the AuthorEric 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. During his lifetime he published many books and more than one hundred articles. The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin will make available in a uniform edition all of Voegelin's major writings. About the EditorGilbert Weiss is Research Associate at the Research Center: Discourse, Politics, Identity at the University of Vienna. Erika Weinzierl is Professor Emeritus for Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. A specialist in Austrian and recent European history, she is the author or editor of numerous books and scholarly articl