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Conflict as a productive element of democracy

Monday 14 June 2010

Conflict as a productive element of democracy: commemorative event in honour of Lord Dahrendorf with Wolf Lepenies and George Soros

Stiftung Mercator, London School of Economics and Political Science and University of Konstanz host "The Future of Liberal Democracy".

Dahrendorf_mediumA year after the death of the sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf, Stiftung Mercator, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Konstanz are to pay tribute to his legacy to academia and society and move the issues that interested him further forward. With this goal in mind, they are hosting a commemorative event entitled "The Future of Liberal Democracy" on Friday 25 June 2010 in Essen.

Following a welcome address by Lady Christiane Dahrendorf, Wolf Lepenies, George Soros and Theo Sommer will discuss topical economic, scientific and political issues in the spirit of Ralf Dahrendorf.

"True to his liberal mentality, Ralf Dahrendorf spent his life involving himself in sociopolitical discussions and taking a public stance. For him, conflict was a productive element of democracy. This form of at once argumentative and fruitful debate shapes our work and is something we are keen to continue and uphold", explains Dr Bernhard Lorentz, President of Stiftung Mercator. Furthermore, Dahrendorf gave one of his last public lectures at the Stiftung Mercator building – at the Mercator Lecture in 2008.

Howard Davies, Director of LSE, said: "Lord Dahrendorf was not only an eminent sociologist but a respected director of LSE for ten years, who remained close to the School after he left in 1984. Indeed he wrote a history of the School, published in 1995. His contribution to LSE, not only as its director but as a governor in later years, was unrivalled and I am pleased that the School is involved in this event to honour his memory."

"Lord Dahrendorf was not only one of Germany's leading sociologists of recent decades and a public intellectual whose voice carried weight beyond Germany's borders; he was also one of the central founding figures of the University of Konstanz", says Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, vice chancellor of the University of Konstanz.


Registration: Journalists are welcome to attend this non-public event. For reasons of increased security, accreditation is necessary. If you are interested in attending, please e-mail presse@stiftung-mercator.de or telephone +49 201-24522-39 by Friday, 18 June 2010.

If you should have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Christiane Duwendag
Director of Communication
Stiftung Mercator
Phone: +49 201-24522-42
E-Mail: christiane.duwendag@stiftung-mercator.de

Jessica Winterstein
Press and Information Office
London School of Economics and Political Science
Phone: +44 20-7107-5025
E-Mail: J.Winterstein@lse.ac.uk

Dr. Maria Schorpp
Press Office
University of Konstanz
Phone: +49 7531 88-3575
E-Mail: Maria.Schorpp@uni-konstanz.de