Democracy and Fear
Constitutional democracies recurrently grapple with fear-inducing tests. Drawing on challenges posed during the first half of the twentieth-century by economic collapse, unprecendeted violence, and anti-parliamentary dictatorships, and seeking to surmount treatments of emergency and exception rooted in the writing of Carl Schmitt, the talk will place today's conundrums within a historical and analytical context. It will combine an analysis of how the American New Deal recreated the modern liberal state with an assessment of how that success ironically generated new dilemmas of emergency and exception for democracies today.
Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University, and the serving president of the Social Science Research Council. Prior to his position at Columbia, he taught at the University of Chicago and the New School for Social Research, where he was dean of the Graduate Faculty. His latest book Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time (W.W. Norton’s Liveright imprint, 2013), which has been awarded the Bancroft Prize in History and the Woodrow Wilson Award in Political Science, sheds light on a pivotal moment in the history of the United States and of liberal democracy.
Claus Offe teaches Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance. He completed his PhD at the University of Frankfurt and his Habilitation at the University of Konstanz. In Germany, he has held chairs for Political Science and Political Sociology at the Universities of Bielefeld (1975-1989) and Bremen (1989-1995), as well as at the Humboldt-University of Berlin (1995-2005). He has worked as fellow and visiting professor at, among others, the Institutes for Advanced Study in Stanford, Princeton, and the Australian National University as well as Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley and the New School University, New York.
The event is a cooperation between the WZB and Bard College Berlin.