Darren Nah

Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University

[Scroll below for works-in-progress.]

I am a Ph.D. candidate of Political Science at Yale University (May 2022). I have a broad interest in the history of political thought, democratic theory, German Idealism, Marxism and institutional design. My aim is to study how important figures in the history of political thought responded to elite control of the decision-making process through their institutional recommendations.

In my dissertation titled “Hegel’s Institutional Enlightenment: A Study of the Political Institutions of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right” I show how Hegel is better understood as responding to Prussian elite domination in government. That is, in contrast to other scholars who read Hegel as offering a moderate critique of bourgeois liberalism, I demonstrate how Hegel responded to aristocratic liberalism instead and had the Prussian landed aristocracy in mind when he defended seemingly anti-democratic institutions like the monarchy, bureaucracy, and the Estates to insulate the power of the bureaucrats in government from noble influence.

Currently I am working on turning my dissertation into a book manuscript and other articles. I have a work-in-progress on Socrates’ political thought. I published on Aristotle’s critique of slavery, am an European Studies Fellow at the MacMillan Center (Yale) and received twice the Baden-Württemberg Scholarship at Heidelberg Universität and Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. My work has been presented at Harvard, Yale and Duke.

My other interests include Olympic lifting, travelling and marine aquaculture. I read in Malay, French, German and Ancient Greek. I am currently learning Mandarin Chinese.

Works in Progress

"Hegel and the Civil Service"

In contrast to other scholars who portray Hegel's state bureuacracy as anti-democratic, I show how it is better understood as responding to aristocratic dominance of Prussian representative institutions. I also compare Hegel's vision of bureaucracy with that of Max Weber's. This article touches on legislative accountability of executive power.