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Saturday, January 19 2019 since 1997 Winter Semester 2018/2019
FOTOS: Autokratien: Herausforderungen der Demokratie


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Previous Guests

These speakers visited Humboldt-University in order to be guest of the Mosse-Lectures.

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Challenges of Democracy

After the end of the Cold War great hopes had been placed that necessarily more and more states would ‘democratize’, more or less. However, since the turn of the century these expectations were disenchanted rapidly. Under the pressure of widely spread fears of globalization, the growing influence of populist movements, and marked by economic and security risks, autocracy has become a political option: a form of government based on self-empowerment, monopolization, and strengthening itself by excluding the ‘others’. In the 1990ies, in its geopolitical strategies, the research of democracy, mandated mostly by western states, was convinced that a worldwide change of system could be observed. In this context conceptions of autocracy leading back to the studies on totalitarianism of the postwar period were largely misleading. In our days autocrats gain power in the manner of populism, and last but not least, executing techniques and practices of neoliberal governance. Once in power they pretend to serve ‘the people’, gaining authority with promises of prosperity, religious and moral renewal, forceful expansion. Autocracies can best be understood as hybrid forms of executing power, brusquely interweaving the social systems of economy, politics and law. In this series of the Mosse-Lectures the principal task will be to identify, historically and presently, the specifics of this type of power: the ‘electorate autocracy’ in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Recep Erdogan’s conception of an Islamic presidential autocracy, the progression of Iran’s theocracy, the digitally supported backup of the one-parts-rule projected in China, not to forget the autocratic tendencies in Europe and the United States, questionable in terms of constitutional law.

The MOSSE-LECTURES at the Humboldt University in Berlin are a cooperation of:


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Werkstätten der Zukunft. Berlin, 2018

Hendrik Blumentrath, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors: Aleida Assmann, Eva Horn, Bruno Latour, Thomas Lemke, Stefan M. Maul, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kathrin Röggla, and Joseph Vogl.

Mosse Almanach 2017. Berlin, 2017

Elisabeth Wagner (Ed.)

Summarizes and documents the scientific and public activity of the Mosse-Lectures with over 170 lectures in twenty years.

Konversionen. Berlin, 2016

Ulrike Vedder, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Sarah Stroumsa, Stefan Weidner, Christoph Peters, Klaus Briegleb, Thomas Macho, Eric Porath, Hans Joas and Stephen Greenblatt. Illustrations by James Turell.

Literarische Nachbarschaften. Berlin, 2016

Lothar Müller, Klaus R. Scherpe (Eds.)

Contributors Brigitte Kronauer, Reinhard Jirgl, Lutz Seiler, Colm Toibin, and Vladimir Sorokin, commented by Lothar Müller und Klaus Scherpe.

Europa in anderen Kulturen. Berlin, 2015

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Sebastian Conrad, Dan Diner, Wang Hui, Andreas Huyssen, William Kentridge, Jürgen Osterhammel, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elisabeth Wagner and Georg Witte.

Staatsbürgerschaft. Berlin, 2012

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors Étienne Balibar, Norbert Lammert, Philip D. Murphy, Dieter Gosewinkel, Ayelet Shachar, Samantha Besson, Aaron Ezrahi, Moshe Zimmermann, Anja Streiter, Guillermo Kuitca, commented by Elisabeth Wagner.

Korruption. Berlin, 2011

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors Maria Eichhorn, Stephan A. Jansen, Herfried Münkler, Ivan Krastev, Susan Rose-Ackerman, Johann Graf Lambsdorff, Gunter Gebauer, Ines Geipel and Wolfgang Schild.

VerWertungen von Vergangenheit. Berlin, 2009

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors Elena Esposito, Harun Farocki, Andreas Huyssen, Anselm Kiefer, Christoph Ransmayr, Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler (†) and Elisabeth Wagner.

Odyssen. Berlin, 2008

Elisabeth Wagner, Burkhardt Wolf (Eds.)

Contributors: Walter Burkert, Piero Boitani, Klaus Reichert, Friedrich Kittler, Elisabeth Wagner and Burkhardt Wolf.

Kontinent Kafka. Berlin, 2005

Klaus R. Scherpe, Elisabeth Wagner (Eds.)

Contributors: Walter H. Sokel, Elizabeth Boa, Gerhard Neumann, Detlef Kremer, Joseph Vogl, Klaus R. Scherpe, Benno Wagner, Elisabeth Wagner and Burkhardt Wolf

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