Jens Kersten

  • Storming the parliaments
  • Lecture

The storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, is the most visible expression of a political meltdown of democracy: election results were and are being called into question, the parliament vandalized. In Berlin, too, anti-Corona demonstrators had attempted to storm the Reichstag building in the summer of 2020. As clear as these attacks on liberal democracy are, the concrete threat situation is unclear: Old forms of anti-liberal and anti-democratic radicalism have (re)formed in national and right-wing populism.

At the same time, a new form of radical individualism has developed in the center of our society. With its claim to immediate identity, immediate knowledge and immediate politics, this radical individualism turns against every form of liberal and democratic representation. In the process, national populism and radical individualism are becoming dynamic in the digital structural change of the public sphere. The defensible democracy of the Basic Law must actively counter this development. That is why it is necessary to take stock of the instruments of defensible democracy in order to defend the liberal social and constitutional order. Are our party, electoral and parliamentary laws resilient enough? Is the political public armed against conspiracy theories, hate speech, microtargeting, political astroturfing and deep fakes? Is there a right for citizens that all statements made by public officials are truthful? How is constitutional jurisdiction secured as the central institution of democratic and constitutional protection?

Prof. Dr. Jens Kersten teaches public law and administrative sciences at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His research interests include democracy and social cohesion.

Foto: Privat

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