“Carl Schmitt is probably the major twentieth-century political theorist whose work remains internationally unknown. Balakrishnan's comprehensive and sophisticated intellectual biography should rectify this. Here is a book which everyone interested in modern political theory should read.” (Michael Mann)
“The Enemy is one of the most brilliant and systematic studies of Schmitt's extremely difficult intellectual contribution. Gopal Balakrishnan never forgets Schmitt's hateful political choices. Yet one cannot deny that people of diametrically opposite political allegiances have been influenced by Schmitt's thought. I think that The Enemy will be acclaimed not only by 'Schmittians', right and left, but also by decided critics of the German thinker as the most important recent contribution to the understanding of his work.” (Saul Friedlander)
“To many, not only on the Right, Schmitt's astringency, depth and realism will seem preferable to the conventional and nauseating pieties of the Cooks and the Blairs. But to those influenced even a slightest degree by Schmitt, a worrying question must remain ... in the international realm, whether it is conceived as a global order or as an arena for competition between independent nations, is there ultimately no rule but that imposed by the strongest enemy? ... If Carl Schmitt together with Gopal Balakrishnan help us to edge our way towards thinking about this troubling position, then Balakrishnan's effort will not have been in vain.” (Times Literary Supplement)
Gopal Balakrishnan is the author of The Enemy: An Intellectual Portrait of Carl Schmitt, and editor of Debating "Empire" and (with Benedict Anderson) Mapping the Nation. A member of the New Left Review editorial board, he teaches Contemporary Theory at the University of California, Santa Cruz.