Block courses on "Democracy" by Chris Thornhill and Hauke Brunkhorst in Autumn Semester 2021/22

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 with related reading seminar sessions in May on the following topics:

Seminar 1: "Imperialism and Constitutional Democracy",

  • Lecture course (hybrid): Nov. 3rd until November 24th , Wednesdays, 16 – 18 h
  • Block course (hybrid): 13. – 14.12.2021, 13 – 18 h, Location: EUF, RIGA 601

 Seminar 2: "Democracy and Education in the Age of Global Expansion of the Educational System"

  • Block course (hybrid): 15. – 16.12.2021, 13 – 18 h, Location: EUF, RIGA 601

They are open to all EUF academic staff and M.A. students, as well as to people from other international research institutions/universities. We encourage particularly Post-Docs and PhD students to participate.

If you are interested, have questions and/or would like to register, you can send an email to


Seminar 1: Imperialism and Constitutional Democracy,

Lecture course Hybrid: Wednesday 16-18 from Nov. 3 to Nov. 24

Blockseminar Hybrid: Monday December 13 to Tuesday December 14 from 13-18.

The Sessions in November are introductory to the debated Literature.

This seminar in December will address the relations between Imperialism and the formation of democratic government. It will be divided into two parts, one addressing the impact of early and classical Imperialism (up to 1945) on democratic polity building, and one addressing constitutional formation during decolonization and new forms of Imperialism.

Part I will focus on the following core questions: 1. How did classical Imperialism shape the first rise of democracy?; 2. How did (early) democratic constitutionalism reflect and support processes of overseas expansion amongst European states?; 3. How was the formation of national citizenship regimes linked to Imperialism?; 4. How did Imperialist wars shape the architecture of European nation states and how was external violence mirrored in internal violence?

Part 2 will focus on the following questions: 1. How did the aftermath of World War II shape democratic constitution making?; 2. Did decolonization promote new constitutional models?; 3. Did the relation between warfare and constitution making change after 1945?; 4. Did the status of anti-colonial movements and activists change after 1945?; 5. The 1980s were the first decade that saw a saw a wave of constitutional formation not driven by Imperialist wars – How did this affect constitutional law?


  • Linda Colley, The Gun, the Ship and the Pen. Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World. London: Profile, 2021.
  • Dieter Gosewinkel Schutz und Freiheit? Staatsbürgerschaft in Europa im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 2016.


Block Seminar 1: Imperialism and Constitutional Democracy
Hosted by Maria Schwab

Meeting number: 2733 022 8079
Password: ices

Seminar 2: Democracy and Education in the Age of Global Expansion of the Educational System

Time: 15.-16.12.2021 from 13-18h

Introductory reading Course in November Thursday Nov. 4 to Thursday Nov. 25 from 12-14

The expansion of the education system between 1960 and 2010 meant that the number of academically (at least minimally) skilled students grew from less than five percent of the population in most countries in the world to nearly 50 %, and often more, of the younger generation. This was the case in the US and Finland, but it was also the case in Brazil and Egypt. Through this process, educational institutions acquired an increasingly differentiated social position, impacting deeply on patterns of social politicization. These facts partly explain social uprisings ranging from the global students-rebellion in the 1960s to the Arab Spring and the Hong Kong revolt in 2010 and 2019. However, the expansion of the education system has recently stalled in many national contexts, and educational investment, taken as part of modern welfare states, has often been vulnerable to disinvestment since the financial crisis of 2008. 

This class will discuss the meaning of the "educational revolution" (Parsons) for the long-term globalization of democracy. Analysis will be supported by reference to studies by Parsons/Platt and by John Meyer and other members of the Stanford School of Sociology. The course will also consider ways in which the education revolution has been affected by recent changes in national fiscal systems.


  • Talcott Parsons & Gerald Platt, The American University (Harvard University Press 1973)
  • Berkeley in the Sixties, Director Mark Kitchell, 1990, documentary Film
  • Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (Yale University Press, 2001).
  • Evan Schofer, Francisco O. Ramirez and John W. Meyer, ‘The Societal Consequences of Higher Education.’ Sociology of Education 94(1) (2021): 1-19.
  • Francisco O. Ramirez and Marc J. Ventresca (1992), ‘Building the Institution of Mass Education: Isomorphism in the Modern World’ in Bruce Fuller and Richard Rubinson (eds.), The Political Construction of Education. The State, School Expansion and Economic Change. (New York: Praeger, 1992) pp. 47–59.


Meeting number: 2731 670 9101; Password: ices