Towards Post-Classical Democracy: Political Change and Historical Discourse in Contemporary Germany

Vortrag, DHI London

Present-day Western democracy is not what it was in the immediate post-war era. But how can we historically account for the profound changes that started a generation ago and have intensified globally over the past few years? And why are Germans today so particularly concerned about the fate, and possible demise, of democracy? The lecture discusses the tensions between historical transformation and contemporary discourse in what is arguably one of the most urgent topics of the early twenty-first century.

Paul Nolte is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the Free University of Berlin. He has published extensively on the political, social, and intellectual history of modern Germany and transatlantic relations. His publications include Religion und Bürgergesellschaft (2009); Riskante Moderne (2006); Generation Reform (2004); and Staatsbildung als Gesellschaftsreform (1990). His most recent monograph is a critical historical assessment of democracy: Was ist Demokratie? Geschichte und Gegenwart (2012).