Kirchheimer, Otto

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KIRCHHEIMER, OTTO (1905–1965), political scientist. Born in Germany, Kirchheimer was admitted to the German bar and was active in the social democratic movement. He lectured at German trade union schools and published a number of essays on the political and legal problems of the Weimar Republic. After the advent of Nazism, he went first to Paris and in 1937 to the U.S. From 1944 to 1951 Kirchheimer worked in the Office of Strategic Services and later in the State Department. He taught at various universities and from 1960 to his death was professor of political science at Columbia University in New York. In his major work, Political Justice (1961), he pointed out how the misuse of justice can lead to the destruction of democracy.

[Edwin Emanuel Gutmann]