4—5 December 2019

Dahrendorf Conference: Democracy and Civil Society in Europe

Location Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)
Beginning 10.00  Ending 18:00

Today, Ralf Dahrendorf’s critical observations are needed more than ever.

His thoughts and analyses concerning the development of the European Union and the role of the nation state continue to be relevant; his studies on democracy in Western and Eastern Europe are of particular importance at a time when democracy is facing a multiplicity of challenges from various directions. Similarly his speeches, writings, and warnings on the importance of civil society and prevailing forms of inequality in education and life opportunities allow for in-depth reflections on social trends.

To mark the tenth anniversary of Ralf Dahrendorf’s death, the Dahrendorf Conference aims not only to honour his legacy but also to facilitate critical discussion of the problems of our age. Organised by the institutions at which he worked, the Conference will provide a space for coming together and negotiating present-day challenges in society — an effort that Ralf Dahrendorf would surely have endorsed.

Selected experts from academia and politics will explore the following questions:

  • Of what relevance is Ralf Dahrendorf’s work for the social and political sciences?
  • Which of his contributions have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant today?
  • Is democracy indeed in crisis?
  • Is European integration in crisis?
  • Is Eastern Europe becoming less liberal?
  • Can ‘civil society’ save democracy?
  • Has education become a liberal-democratic right?

In five panels on key issues, participants will revisit Ralf Dahrendorf’s work with these questions in mind. A detailed programme can be accessed here.

The Dahrendorf Forum is pleased to be cooperating with the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) in hosting this event.

We regret that the number of places available for this conference is limited. 

It you would like to attend, please contact Friederike Theilen-Kosch (friederike.theilen-kosch@wzb.eu).

The registration deadline is 25 November 2019.