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Rethinking Europe: the international Dahrendorf Symposium 2011

An initiative of the Hertie School of Governance, LSE and Stiftung Mercator

On 9 and 10 November 2011, leading figures from academia, politics, industry, civil society and the media will attend the Dahrendorf Symposium 2011, entitled “Changing the Debate on Europe – Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdoms”, to help provide a new direction for the debate on Europe.

Dahrendorf_mediumThe goal of the organisers, in the spirit of former LSE director Lord Dahrendorf, is to challenge the entrenched thoughts and arguments on the future of Europe and to contrast these with the latest research findings. Through an intensive exchange between academics and policy-makers, the organisers wish to provide new sources of inspiration for mastering the crisis in which Europe is currently mired.

Under the joint direction of Helmut K. Anheier, dean of the Hertie School of Governance, and Damian Chalmers, director of the European Institute of LSE, five international teams of researchers are currently working in London and Berlin on the topics of “Europe as an ideological space and as a vision” ,“Europe as a space of contestation and conflict management”, “Europe as a social space”, “Europe as a political economy” and “Global Europe”.

The research results will be contrasted with contributions and reactions from distinguished representatives from politics, industry, civil society and the media. Among others, the following individuals have been invited to participate in the discussions: the German Federal Minister for the Environment Norbert Röttgen, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, the former Italian Prime Minister Guliano Amato, former EU Commissioner Mario Monti, the Labour politician and former EU Trade Commissioner Lord Mandelson, the American financier and philanthropist George Soros, and the General Secretary of the FDP Christian Lindner. Also on the agenda are presentations by Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford/Stanford), Judith Butler (Berkeley), Hen rik Enderlein (Hertie School), Simon Hix (LSE), Jean Pisani-Ferry (Bruegel) and others.

Changing the Debate on Europe – Moving Beyond Conventional Wisdoms” is supported by Stiftung Mercator, which focuses on Europe as a major part of its international strategy. Bernhard Lorentz, the president of Stiftung Mercator, believes that the Dahrendorf Symposium 2011 offers an extraordinary opportunity to break through the prevailing crisis-driven rhetoric about European integration and to start changing the debate on Europe.

Articles on the changing debates around Europe will be posted on a new blog, which will prepare the ground for the Symposium in November: http://blog.dahrendorf-symposium.eu/


Lord Ralf Dahrendorf was director of LSE from 1974-1984. As an academic and politician he forcefully and repeatedly warned against taking seemingly comfortable political and policy positions for granted. He urged academics to question the status quo and to challenge the political zeitgeist.

View the Dahrendorf Symposium 2011 introductory video here:

Press contact:

Sue Windebank, LSE, 020 79557060, E-mail: pressoffice@lse.ac.uk

Stefan Collet, Hertie School of Governance, Phone: +49 (0)30 / 259 219 -112, E-mail: press@dahrendorf-symposium.eu

Dahrendorf-Symposium, c/o Hertie School of Governance, Friedrichstr. 180, 10117 Berlin, www.dahrendorf-symposium.eu

(28 July 2011)