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Carl Schmitt's State and Constitutional TheoryA Critical Analysis$
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Benjamin A. Schupmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791614.001.0001

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Carl Schmitt and Constrained Democracy

(p.201) Conclusion
Carl Schmitt's State and Constitutional Theory

Benjamin A. Schupmann

Oxford University Press

The Conclusion uses Schmitt’s thought to analyze what is today known as “constrained” or “militant” democracy. A constrained democracy is a constitutional regime with mechanisms to prevent its own democratic subversion. Although this regime is present to varying degrees in most liberal democratic states today, efforts to provide its comprehensive normative theory and justify its use have fallen short. The conclusion argues that Schmitt’s state and constitutional theory, when used to theorize Weimar’s liberal counter-constitution, provides that comprehensive normative theory of constrained democracy. Schmitt’s state and constitutional theory provides liberal democrats today with an alternative way to think about the legitimacy of the liberal democratic state and the limits of democratic legal change. This chapter concludes by briefly discussing how to move constrained democracy beyond Schmitt and by describing some recent parallels between early twentieth-century extremist movements and today’s political world.

Keywords:   Carl Schmitt, basic rights, democracy, entrenchment, constrained democracy, militant democracy, equal chance

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