Changing the European Debate | Dahrendorf Symposium

The Dahrendorf Symposium is an initiative of the Hertie School of Governance, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Stiftung Mercator. The objective of the project is to shine a light on how academia can have a productive influence on socio-political discourse. It aims to offer European perspectives on one of the most pressing global challenges of our time, the prevention of dangerous climate change. It seeks to produce academically sound reflections that will stimulate public debate and serve as the basis for concrete policy proposals on the European and global stage.

The project entails the following main elements:


(1) Under the joint direction of Helmut K. Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School of Governance, and Arne Westad, director of LSE Ideas, five international and interdisciplinary working groups, whose chairs will be located at the academic partner institutions, will deal with the following general topics (working titles), thus preparing the content for the debate at the Dahrendorf Symposium 2013:

  1. Infrastructure and Climate Change, Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin
  2. Governance and Policy Aspects of Climate Change, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin
  3. Social and Cultural Aspects of Climate Change, LSE in London
  4. Economics and Climate Change, LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in London
  5. Europe and the World, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and LSE Ideas in London

(2) Five “Dahrendorf Post-Doc Fellowships”, awarded for one year (2013): The post-doctoral fellows are recruited in an international competition. They will be based at the Hertie School, LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) which was founded by the Potsdam Climate Impact Institute (PIK) and Stiftung Mercator. The Dahrendorf Post-Doctoral Fellows will work with each other and will be mentored by Senior Dahrendorf Fellows at their host institutions and across the network. They will also benefit from the presence of a number of Dahrendorf Visiting Fellows (academics and practitioners) who will also be drawn from the worlds of politics and industry in Europe and globally. The work of the Dahrendorf Fellows and research groups will be presented at the Dahrendorf Symposium 2013 and in other public fora.


(3) The Dahrendorf Symposium 2013 on “Changing the European Debate: Focus on Climate Change” will be hosted by the Hertie School, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Stiftung Mercator. It brings into focus the various aspects of European perspectives on the leading question “How to prevent dangerous climate change?” and will be prepared by the five interdisciplinary working groups. Held in Berlin end 2013, the Symposium aims to bring together leading international thinkers from academia, politics, economy, civil society and the media. At the Dahrendorf Symposium, the research results will be contrasted with contributions and reactions from these distinguished representatives. The Symposium will put a clear focus on debate – between the panellists as well as with the audience – and academically-excellent research will be presented in a format to encourage public, policy-relevant discussion.



Project Contact

Gesa-Stefanie Brincker
Gesa-Stefanie  Brincker Hertie School of Governance
Dahrendorf Manager
Phone: +49 (0)30 - 259 219 -139