Benjamin A Schupmann

Social Sciences (Political Science)



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Dr Benjamin A Schupmann is currently a Lecturer in the Division of Social Sciences at Yale-NUS. His research looks at the role the state and constitution should play in politics and society today and what liberal democracy means in the 21st century.

He is completing a book manuscript entitled Carl Schmitt’s State and Constitutional Theory: A Critical Analysis for Oxford University Press. This book analyses Carl Schmitt’s state and constitutional theory and looks at how it was conceived in response to the legitimation crisis facing the Weimar state. It shows how Schmitt’s state theory provides an original normative theory of ‘constrained’ democracy, a type of liberal democratic constitution that guards against certain forms of popular sovereignty and prevents constitutional suicide. It concludes that Schmitt offers liberal democrats today a novel way to understand the legitimacy of liberal democracy and the limits of constitutional change. This account is especially important because of the rise of extremism in constitutional democracies today and the dangers it poses to them.

Ben received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at Columbia University on February 11, 2015. In his spare time, he trains with Taekwondo.

Constitutionalism, Democracy, Basic Rights, State Theory, Populism, Political Extremism, Constrained Democracy, Political Realism, Rationalization & Disenchantment, Thoughtlessness, Tragedy, Continental Political and Legal Theory, History of Political Thought


Carl Schmitt’s State and Constitutional Theory: A Critical Analysis. Book under contract with Oxford University Press for its “Oxford Constitutional Theory” Series.

Morgenthau mal compris: The Philosophical Roots of Hans Morgenthau’s Political Realism. (VDM Publishing, 2011).

Articles in Professional Journals & Book Chapters

“Thoughtlessness and Resentment: Determinism and Moral Responsibility in the Case of Adolf Eichmann” Philosophy and Social Criticism 2014, Vol. 40(2), 127–144.

“A Pessimism of Strength? Tragedy and Political Virtue.” In Tragedy and International Relations. Eds. Erskine and Lebow. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), 129-143.

Book Reviews

Review of Carl Schmitt: A Biography. By Reinhard Mehring (Malden, MA: Polity, 2014). Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. 2016. Vol. 23(2), 320-321.

Human Rights