Since 2010 the Hertie School of Governance, the London School of Economics (LSE), and Stiftung Mercator have cooperated to create bi-annual symposia and public research projects in honour of Lord Ralph Dahrendorf. In the spirit of Lord Dahrendorf’s own example, these efforts focus on bringing the European debate about key issues in society forward through social science research and engagement with policymakers and with the public. The first two cycles of research concentrated on the debate on Europe’s institutional and political future and on the issue of man-made climate change. In the third cycle (2015-2016), the focus is on the relationship between Europe and the core regions of the world economy (North America and East Asia), and especially its border zones: Russia and Ukraine, Turkey, and North Africa.
Dahrendorf postdoctoral fellows, research associates and PhD fellowships will be attached to the research project. Each academic partner has one Senior Dahrendorf Fellow who is based at their respective institution. Both will advise on the speakers and participants at the symposium, mentor the postdoctoral fellows, and form the science-policy interface of the project. Each of the five working groups will be chaired by one faculty member at either the Hertie School or the LSE and will consist of four members and two Visiting Fellows from academia, politics, and business.
As of January 2015, the five transnational, interdisciplinary, and cross-sectoral working groups will examine the key questions, and thereby prepare the content for the debate at the Dahrendorf Symposium 2016 ‘Changing the debate on Europe: Europe and the world’. A continuous exchange between the working groups will be guaranteed via their members’ participation at Dahrendorf workshops, seminars and lectures. Each of the research groups will have a regional focus. They will examine four sets of tensions and outline concrete policy implications for the future of the European Union’s relations with its border regions (Russia and Ukraine, Turkey, and North Africa), and the core regions of the world economy (East Asia and North America). The working titles of the research groups are:
The three-day event will be the finale of the project. Taking place in Berlin in May 2016, the symposium aims to set in motion a broad, challenging, and multifaceted European debate. It seeks again to engage representatives of the European and global elite in academia, politics, businesses, civil society, and the media in the debate about Europe.