Block courses on "Democracy" by Hauke Brunkhorst and Chris Thornhill
Hauke Brunkhorst (EUF, Department of Sociology) and Christopher Thornhill (Professor of Law, University of Manchester and Humboldt-Research Awardee at ICES) will offer two block courses in May on the following topics:
- Seminar 1: "There is no democracy without transnational human rights and a social-welfare state – A thesis for discussion", Date: 03.– 07.05.2021, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
- Seminar 2: "How could democracy emerge from militarization, nationalism and disciplining?", Date: 17.–21.05.2021, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
They are open to all EUF members, as well as to people from other international research institutions/universities. We encourage particularly Post-Docs and PhD students to participate.
A description of the courses including reading lists can be found on our website.
If you are interested, have questions and/or would like to register, you can send an email to.
Seminar 1: "There is no democracy without transnational human rights and a social-welfare state – A thesis for discussion",
Date: 03.– 07.05.2021, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Democracy that is participatory and inclusive for all social classes, genders and nationalities (races, ethnicities, religious communities) has only existed since the middle of the 20th Century. Only at the point did the majority of states adopt, or begin to adopt, nominally (or at least symbolically) democratic constitutions. The huge wave of Post-World War II democratization was the result of the long global civil war period between 1918 (End of WW I; League of Nations, Russian Revolution) and 1948 (end of WW II 1946, end of Chinese Revolution 1948, Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, De-Colonization 1945-1975). The long period of wars and revolutions let to the greatest human catastrophe of mankind (mass crimes against humanity) on the one side, and to the greatest defeat of the global (far) right ever. Both results enabled the global foundation and re-foundation of states which declared themselves "democratic" and "social" (Art. 20 I German Basic Law), institutionalized a kind of social welfare state, implemented human rights (due to international human rights law), and the bound themselves to a kind of global constitution (UN-Charta).
- Chris Thornhill, The Sociology of Law and the Global Transformation of Democracy. Cambridge University Press 2020.
- Chris Thornhill,University Press 2021. . Cambridge
- Hauke Brunkhorst, Critical Theory of Legal Revolutions – Evolutionary Perspectives. New York/London: Bloomsbury 2014. Chapter 3, IV. pp. 319-466.
- Talcott Parsons, Order and Community in the International Social System, in: James N. Rosenau (ed), International Politics and Foreign Policy. Glencoe IL: The Free Press, 1961, pp. 120-129
- Sandra Halperin, War and Social Change in Modern Europe. The Great Transformation Revisited. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Peter Baldwin, The Politics of Social Solidarity. Class Bases of the European Welfare State 1875–1975. Cambridge University Press, 1990.
- Jytte Klausen, War and Welfare. Europe and the United States, 1945 to the Present. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998.
Seminar 2: "How could democracy emerge from militarization, nationalism and disciplining?",
Date: 17.–21.05.2021, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Democracy began with a certain idea of popular sovereignty that emerged during the 18th Century. It was most radically elaborated by Rousseau and Kant. However, democracy during the 19th and 20th centuries was theoretically redefined and adapted to the social reality by sociological analysis, and it was implemented very reluctantly by states and empires, and in a way that its implementation enhanced the power of the ruling classes everywhere. There was no state where the parties of the lower classes had a fair chance to come to power effectively. Bounded labor was freed, and the subjects of the kings and princes became active citizens with universal suffrage only through a long process of universal conscription, militarization, new formations of disciplinary regimes, nationalism and imperialism. Yet, a certain basic idea of democracy survived all these adaptations to reality, and this idea to a certain extent was realized in second half of the 20th Century. How could it survive? Moreover, does it still have the power to stand up to the new challenges of the 21s century? Can it still transcend the contradicting reality of modern capitalism (as it once was defined by Marx and Weber)?
- Jonathan Israel, Revolutionary Ideas. An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from the Rights of Man to Robespierre. Princeton University Press, 2014.
- Wolfgang Kruse, Die Erfindung des modernen Militarismus. Krieg, Militär und bürgerliche Gesellschaft im politischen Diskurs der Französischen Revolution 1789–1799. Munich: Oldenbourg, 2003.
- James T. Kloppenberg, Toward Democracy. The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought. Oxford University Press, 2016.
- John Markoff, Waves of Democracy. Social Movements and Political Change. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Pine Forge Press, 1990.
- Charles Tilly, Contention and Democracy in Europe, 1650-2000. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
- Robert J. Goldstein, Political Repression in 19th Century Europe. London: Croom Helm, 1983.