If Europe is to develop a foreign policy identity, institutional reform must be met with democratic debate. It is about time: how liveable Europe will be in the future also depends on today’s external policies. No fence can shield Europe from the impact of global problems; old demarcation lines between domestic and foreign policy are fading. While this requires strong European responses, public acceptance of further integration is dwindling.

The Dahrendorf Forum recognizes that both, expert knowledge and public debate can benefit from mutual exposition. It therefore researches future scenarios for Europe’s external relations and discusses the findings with an audience as broad as possible. The project’s gaze thereby goes beyond Eurocentric worldviews: it puts non-European perspectives centre stage. The Dahrendorf Forum is a joint initiative by the Hertie School of Governance, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Stiftung Mercator. The project cycle 2015-2016 ‘Europe and the World’ is shaped by five interdisciplinary working groups with specific focus regions (Russia/Ukraine, MENA, China, North America and Turkey).

Impact is strengthened through publications in both, major academic journals and the media. High-profile events in Berlin, London and beyond are meant to foster lasting engagement between decision-makers and all kinds of social actors. The series of events will culminate in the Dahrendorf Symposium in May 2016.

Since 2010 the three partners 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 China), and especially its border zones: Russia and Ukraine, Turkey, and Middle East Northern Africa (MENA-region).

Dahrendorf Fellows

Dahrendorf postdoctoral fellows and research associates are attached to the research project. Each academic partner has one Senior Dahrendorf Fellow who is based at their respective institution (Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger at the Hertie School and Sir Robert Cooper at the LSE). Both 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 is chaired by one faculty member at either the Hertie School or the LSE and consists of at least four members and two Visiting Fellows from academia, politics, and business.

Dahrendorf Working Groups   

The five transnational, interdisciplinary, and cross-sectoral working groups 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 is guaranteed via their members’ participation at Dahrendorf workshops, seminars and lectures. Each of the research groups has a regional focus and examines 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 research groups are:

  • Working Group 1 - Europe and Russia and Ukraine (chaired by Vladislav Zubok, LSE)
  • Working Group 2 - Europe and Turkey (chaired by Dilek Kurban, Hertie School and Esra Özyürek, LSE)
  • Working Group 3 - Europe and North Africa (chaired by Claus Offe, Hertie School and Cilja Harders, FU Berlin)
  • Working Group 4 - Europe and North America (chaired by Peter Trubowitz, LSE)
  • Working Group 5 - Europe and East Asia (chaired Genia Kostka, Hertie School and Björn Conrad, MERICS)

The Dahrendorf Symposium 2016

The three-day event will take place in Berlin from 25 to 27 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.






Project Contact

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