Professor Ralf Dahrendorf would have turned 90 on 1 May 2019. He passed away ten years ago on 17 June 2009. The University of Konstanz and the “Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit” foundation will commemorate this occasion by organizing the ceremony “Der Homo Publicus” in memory of Lord Ralf Dahrendorf. Ralf Dahrendorf was a member of the University of Konstanz’s founding committee as well as one of its founding professors. During the 1980s, he was chair of the Friedrich-Naumann foundation. Rector Professor Kerstin Krieglstein will open the ceremony on Saturday, 29 June 2019 at 18:00. The keynote speech will be delivered by historian and Dahrendorf biographer Dr Franziska Meifort. The topic of the ensuing panel discussion is “Dahrendorf as a professor, politician and publicist”.
As a member of the university’s founding committee, Ralf Dahrendorf had a lasting effect on the University of Konstanz. He was a visionary at a time when Germany was undergoing the first significant expansion of its educational system, which involved the development of new structures and measures. His book “Bildung ist Bürgerrecht – Plädoyer für eine aktive Bildungspolitik” (Hamburg 1965) was quite a sensation at the time and is still relevant today. As a professor, politician and publicist, he was active in both Germany and Great Britain. Ralf Dahrendorf lived an international life while also continuously maintaining his connection to Germany and the University of Konstanz. Throughout his lifetime, he advocated an open society and the fair resolution of conflicts as well as individual self-determination as the basis for democracy. His written legacy includes a larger number of books, lectures and speeches.
Based on her comprehensive research and access to extensive documentary material, Franziska Meifort explores the life and thoughts of the influential intellectual and committed European in her biography entitled “Ralf Dahrendorf”.
Ralf Dahrendorf was born on 1 May 1929 in Hamburg as the son of the social democrat and German Reichstag member Gustav Dahrendorf. After studying philosophy and the classics from 1947 to 1952 at the University of Hamburg, where he completed his doctoral thesis entitled “Der Begriff des Gerechten im Denken von Karl Marx”, he finished his postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), whose director he became years later. Further academic milestones include his habilitation (postdoctoral qualification) at the University of Saarbrücken with the publication “Soziale Klassen und Klassenkonflikt in der industriellen Gesellschaft” in 1957, his professorship in sociology at the Akademie für Gemeinwirtschaft in Hamburg in 1958, his professorship at the University of Tübingen in 1960, and his professorship at the University of Konstanz from 1966 to 1969.
He then went into politics as a member of the Landtag (state parliament) in Baden-Württemberg (1968/69), became a member of the German Bundestag and parliamentary state secretary in the Federal Foreign Office (1969/79), and then joined the European Commission in Brussels (1970 to 1974). Thereafter, Ralf Dahrendorf continued his public life in England, where he became the director of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1974 to 1984) and warden of St. Antony`s College in Oxford (1987 to 1997). In 1993, he was made Lord and became a member of the British House of Lords. Ralf Dahrendorf received numerous prestigious honours for both his academic work and his commitment to politics and society.
- Ceremony “Der Homo Publicus” in memory of Lord Ralf Dahrendorf (1929-2009)
- Date: Saturday, 29 June 2019 at 18:00
- Welcome address by Professor Kerstin Krieglstein, the Rector of the University of Konstanz
- Keynote speech “Ralf Dahrendorf, der homo publicus” by historian and Dahrendorf biographer Dr Franziska Meifort
- Panel discussion “Dahrendorf as a professor, politician and publicist”
Participants: Professor Jochen Glöckner, Professor of German and European private and business law
Dr Franziska Meifort, historian and Dahrendorf biographer, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
Professor Dr Dr h.c. Karl-Heinz Paqué, Minister a.D., chair of the "Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit" foundation
Moderator: Jochen Merkle, Baden-Württemberg programme coordinator of the "Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit" foundation
- Contact the foundation to register your interest in attending this event
Phone: +49 30 22 01 26 34