Recent academic trends have associated the work of Carl Schmitt in general, and his concept of the political in particular, with the excesses of George W. Bush’s foreign policy. Lon Troyer, for example, argues that Schmitt’s friend-enemy distinction is the inspiration for President Bush’s ‘bi-furcation’ of the international system: ‘The friend-enemy distinction in the sphere of international relations is ordered, in Bush’s words, according to the great divide in our time . . . not between religions or cultures, but between civilisation and barbarism’ (Troyer 2003: 262). Another intellectual, German historian Hans August Winkler, sees Schmitt’s critique of liberalism vindicated through the influence of Leo Strauss on work in the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century think-tank in Washington, DC (Winkler 2003: 1).