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Tuesday, May 30 2017 since 1997 Summer Semester 2017



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Critics of liberalism

The notion of liberalism recalls one of the most influential political traditions of Europe and the Western world. It captures a variety of positions, ways of thinking, mentalities, practices, and programs that hardly fit under the rubric of one single and unitary concept. Since its 18th-century origins, the concept of ‘liberalism’ assembled an enticing conglomerate of political promises: emancipation and freedom, ideas of statehood, government, and law, free trade agreements and market utopias, projects of general education, and visions of a universal humanity. The liberal idea of ‘Bildung’ was at the center of the Mosse family’s great achievements; it was also at the core of the scholarly work of the historian George L.  Mosse; with this lecture series we honor their legacy.

Historically liberalism was the arena of social and political conflicts in struggle with authoritarian and restorative tendencies on the one hand and socialist movements on the other. It raised hard questions about the reciprocal relationship between freedom and equality, self-determination and social justice, private ownership and common welfare. Liberalism, as it were, had the potential and the reservoir of ideas to find solutions to these questions.

In post-war West Germany the ordo-liberals, as they were called, were still striving to find a third way between laissez faire and a planned economy. Since the neoliberal dogma emerged in the 1970s, however, this modest critique of capitalism has given way to the implementation of the financial capitalism of our days. This series of Mosse Lecture will trace the shifts in the concept of ‘liberalism’ and its economic, ecological, and gender issues, global consequences and dislocations. The question arises whether a somehow obsolete liberalism, currently enforced under the rubric of neoliberalism, can offer solutions for problems which it has no means even to articulate on a global scale.


Christoph Menke Thursday, April 20, 2017, 07:15 pm,


  • Joseph Vogl bei der Einführung zum Semesterthema "Kritik des Liberalismus"     © Niels Leiser
  • Christoph Menke bei seinem Eröffnungsvortrag      © Niels Leiser
  • Christoph Menke vor einem nachdenklichen Zuhörer     © Niels Leiser
  • Christoph Menke im vollbesetzten Senatssaal der HU     © Niels Leiser
  • Christoph Menke bei seiner Mosse-Lecture     © Niels Leiser
  • Joseph Vogl und Christoph Menke bei der Diskussion     © Niels Leiser
  • ein Diskussionsteilnehmer aus dem Publikum     © Niels Leiser
  • kritisch Nachfragender     © Niels Leiser
  • Ethel Matala de Mazza fragt nach     © Niels Leiser
  • Erik Poraths Kommentar zu Menkes Ausführungen     © Niels Leiser
  • Christoph Menke mit den Humboldt-Brüdern     © Niels Leiser
  • Joseh Vogl und Christoph Menke vor Wilhelm und Alexander von Humboldt     © Niels Leiser

Christoph Menke Thursday, May 04, 2017, 07:15 pm,


  • Ulrike Vedder stellt dem Publikum Colin Crouch vor     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch bei seiner Mosse-Lecture     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch vor aufmerksamen Zuhörern     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch vor seinem Publikum     © Niels Leiser
  •  Ulrike Vedder und Colin Crouch im Gespräch     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch argumentiert     © Niels Leiser
  • Fragen aus dem Publikum an Colin Crouch     © Niels Leiser
  • Erik Porath kommentiert Colin Crouchs Vortrag     © Niels Leiser
  • Joseph Vogl fragt nach     © Niels Leiser
  • Colin Crouch vor den Humboldt-Brüdern     © Niels Leiser
  • Ulrike Vedder und Colin Crouch vor den Humboldt-Brüdern     © Niels Leiser

Dieter Langewiesche Thursday, May 18, 2017, 07:15 pm,
Jost Hermand Thursday, June 01, 2017, 07:15 pm,
Pankaj Mishra Thursday, June 22, 2017, 07:15 pm,