I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Florida. I work on contemporary democratic theory, critical social theory, and the history of political thought, especially of 19th & 20th century Germany. My work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, and the Journal of Politics. I received my PhD from the University of Chicago.

Klein PhotoMy research interests include the history of democratic ideas and practices, theories of the
welfare state, post-Kantian German political philosophy, theories of domination, and critical approaches to political economy and capitalism. I have written about figures in continental political thought (Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt), the history of German liberalism (Lorenz von Stein, Gustav Schmoller, Max Weber), and critical theories of capitalism (Karl Polanyi, Jürgen Habermas). In general, I look to both intellectual history and comparative politics for insights that can enrich debates in democratic theory.

My current project, The Work Of Politics, examines the democratic and participatory potential of political struggles over social welfare institutions. Engaging with the thought of Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, and Jürgen Habermas, as well as the history of political struggles over the welfare state, the project reconstructs a critical vision of welfare institutions as worldly mediators between instrumental economic imperatives and collective democratic action. I am also engaged in research projects on the history of popular-democratic thought and practice, on the political theory of Karl Polanyi, and on civil society and the politics of infiltration (with Cheol-Sung Lee).

I have held fellowships from the European University Institute, the Collaborative Research Center 597 “Transformations of the State,” Universität Bremen, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Mellon Foundation. I graduated with a BA in Political Science (Honours) from the University of British Columbia.

Photo: Detail, cover of Der Wahre Jacob, 1922, “Schutz der Republik” [Defend the Republic]