Social-democratic approaches in Weimar constitutional theory: Between state theory and legal theory

The first part of this paper will analyze the social Rechtsstaat strategy, which was propounded during Weimar by Heller and Neumann. I will present their argument that a concept of social freedom could be reached through the Weimar parliamentary state and the Weimar constitution. The second part will demonstrate Neumann’s critique to his former strategy and to the overall stance of the Weimar SPD. Neumann’s critique could be seen in his works between 1933 and 1945. Moreover, I will delve into Kirchheimer’s critique to the Social Rechtsstaat strategy in his works during Weimar, in view also of the Weimar historical context. Through this juxtaposition, I will examine whether the Social Rechtsstaat strategy could provide with an efficient defence of the Weimar Constitution and of the Weimar Republic in view of the contradiction that was played out in Weimar between political democracy and capitalist economy.