Research project

The Dahrendorf Forum – Debating Europe

In the spirit of Lord Ralf Dahrendorf's own example, the Dahrendorf Forum – Debating Europe is an initiative which promotes interdisciplinary European debate about key issues in society. An emphasis is placed on social science research and engagement with policymakers as well as with the public.

More about the project

The Dahrendorf Forum is a joint initiative between the Hertie School of Governance and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), hosted by the Hertie School in Berlin and the LSE’s foreign policy think tank LSE IDEAS in London, and supported by Stiftung Mercator. It honours the legacy of the late politician, social scientist and former Director of the LSE Lord Ralf Dahrendorf (1919-2009). Since its creation in 2010, the Forum’s main aim has been to provide a space for open discussion between academics, policy-makers and relevant practitioners in government and administration, encouraging constructive reflection on the mid- to long-term strategic challenges facing Europe.

The current project cycle (2017-19) focuses on the strategic challenges posed by recent significant changes in the political landscape of Europe. In 2016, Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU was one manifestation of wider trends that have seen growing tension between nationalism and international cooperation, a hardening of attitudes towards immigration and the rise of populism. All of these issues call into question the future of the European project and the aspiration towards ‘ever closer union’. They affect such matters as relations between the EU and non-EU countries within Europe; future developments in existing EU policy fields (e.g. fiscal and monetary policy, migration policy, foreign and security policy, judicial cooperation); further integration and institutional development within the EU; and the development of political culture and values in Europe.

Dahrendorf working groups

The fourth research cycle “The future of Europe: Strategic options for an era of uncertainties” has two working groups:

Each working group will bring together experienced researchers from the Hertie School, LSE’s European Institute and LSE Ideas, alongside other leading academics and policy-makers from the UK, Germany and other European countries.

Dahrendorf Forum structure

A Dahrendorf Team at the Hertie School and the LSE, composed of Post-Doctoral Fellows, Research Associates and the project management, will support this two-year research and outreach process.

Alongside the working groups, the newly-established Dahrendorf Committee will also play a central role in the direction and dissemination of the project research. This carefully selected group of high profile practitioners and experts will draw upon their experience to advise and steer the research process and help facilitate engagement with policy-making circles.

The Committee will meet twice a year, either at the Hertie School in Berlin or at the LSE in London. Its members are also invited to join expert workshops and public panel discussions which will take place throughout the two-year cycle at both institutions and in Brussels.

Dahrendorf academic publications and online activities

The Forum´s website is updated on a regular basis with academic research, relevant policy briefs and analysis made by the Dahrendorf team. Moreover, research is presented via major academic journals (e.g. International Politics or Global Policy). The Dahrendorf blog features contributions by the Dahrendorf research team as well as from external experts who are invited to share their perspectives on issues relating to EU external relations (see www.dahrendorf-forum.eu).

The Dahrendorf Forum website

Academic director

Faculty and researchers