Constitutional Failure is a major contribution to studies of the German political philosopher Carl Schmitt (1888â€“1985), the Weimar Republic, and the relationship of constitutionalism, political economy, and democracy. An internationally renowned scholar of Weimar legal theory, Ellen Kennedy brought Schmittâ€™s neglected work to the attention of English-speaking readers with her highly regarded translations of his work and studies of its place in twentieth-century political theory. In this eagerly awaited book, she tracks Schmittâ€™s contribution to the canon of Western political philosophy during its most difficult and dangerous momentâ€”the time of Weimar Germany and the Third Reichâ€”demonstrating the centrality of his thought to understandings of the modern constitutional state and its precarious economic and social foundations. Kennedy reveals how Schmittâ€™s argument for a strong but neutral state supported the maximization of market freedom at the cost of the political constitution. She argues that the major fault lines of Weimar liberalismâ€”emergency powers, the courts as â€śdefenders of the constitution,â€ť mass mobilization of anti-liberal politics, ethnic-identity politics, a culture of resentment and contested legitimacyâ€”are not exceptions within the liberal-democratic orders of the West, but central to them. Contending that Schmittâ€™s thought remains vital today because liberal norms are inadequate to the political challenges facing constitutional systems as diverse as those of Eastern Europe and the United States, Kennedy develops a compelling, rigorous argument that unsettles many assumptions about liberalism, democracy, and dictatorship.