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 project is a joint initiative by the Hertie School of Governance, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and funded by Stiftung Mercator. Since 2011, the research project has brought together European experts to discuss and analyse issues pertinent to Europe’s future development. Furthermore, it has hosted public events and workshops and and made publications available in print and online format.

The current project cycle (2015-2016), Europe and the world, fosters research and open debate on the EU’s relations with five major regions: Russia/Ukraine, MENA, China, North America, Turkey. The focus on Europe and the world is a response to developments including the the upgrade of the EU's external capacities, the growing relevance of foreign policy for ensuring welfare and security and the integrative force of common global problems.

Dahrendorf fellows

In this cycle five Dahrendorf postdoctoral fellows and ten research associates are attached to the research project. Also, the Hertie School and the LSE have each appointed a Senior Dahrendorf Fellow (Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger and Sir Robert Cooper) who are based at their respective institutions. Both advise on speakers and participants for Dahrendorf Forum events, mentor the postdoctoral fellows and stimulate the science-policy interface of the project.

Dahrendorf working groups

For periods of two years, five different transnational, interdisciplinary, and cross-sectoral working groups conduct research and thereby prepare the content of all Dahrendorf Forum events and publications. They are chaired or co-chaired by faculty members from LSE (Prof. Vladislav Zubok, Prof Esra Özyürek, Prof Peter Trubowitz), the Hertie School (Prof Genia Kostka, Dr Dilek Kurban, Prof Claus Offe) or partner institutions (Prof Cilja Harders, FU Berlin and Björn Conrad, MERICS Berlin).

The Dahrendorf Symposium 2016 and other events

The symposium took place at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin on 25-27 May 2016 and explored the topic Europe and the World – Global Insecurity and Power Shifts. About 350 guests from academia, think-tanks and policy circles joined the 3-day conference. The project itself, however, is embedded within the context of a broader series of more specific events including Dahrendorf workshops which bring together experts from all sectors as well as Dahrendorf lectures and panel discussions which are targeted at a broader audience, where the general public is invited to engage with our topics.

Dahrendorf academic publications and online activities

The Dahrendorf Policy Brief is published on the project website on a regular basis. 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

The Dahrendorf Forum website

Academic director

Faculty and researchers

  • Henrik Enderlein, Associate Dean and Professor of Political Economy

  • Wolfgang Ischinger, Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice

  • Genia Kostka, Fellow

  • Dilek Kurban, Marie Curie Research Fellow

  • Claus Offe, Professor Emeritus of Political Sociology

  • Julie Anna Braun, Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow

  • Monika Sus, Dahrendorf Postdoctoral Fellow in European and Global Governance

  • Tobias Fella, Research Associate for Dahrendorf Forum

  • Alexis Heede, Research Associate for Dahrendorf Forum and Centre for Cultural Policy