Liberal Democracy & the Political: A Comparison of Carl Schmitt and Sheldon S. Wolin

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Virginia Tech

This study concerns the terms liberalism, the political, democracy, and liberal democracy focusing on the application of the terms in the discourse of two distinct political theorists: Carl Schmitt and Sheldon S. Wolin. I address the question of whether similarities exist between Schmitt and Wolin's theories? Specifically, are there similarities in their use of the terms listed above? Although both emphasize different aspects of the terms, I suggest they simultaneously share similar perspectives on them. In particular, I suggest that Schmitt and Wolin share in common attributes in their views on the purported problematic of liberal democracy. Furthermore, I suggest both theorists speak to the general concern that if the political cannot be realized, then democracy cannot be practice.

liberalism, the political, democracy, liberal democracy, sovereignty, Carl Schmitt, Sheldon Wolin