Wolfgang Merkel

  • In the twilight
  • Fragility and resilience of our democracy
  • Lecture

Democracy today is confronted with an extraordinary concentration of external crises: Climate change, migration, pandemic, war, unbounded capitalism. How do we deal with these challenges? Is there a threat of democratic procedures “slipping” or a proliferation of illiberal instruments such as bans and surveillance? Are democracies in decline? The paths are not predetermined, the decline is not sealed. While the weaknesses of liberal democracies are more evident today than they were at the turn of the millennium, we are seeing considerable successes in democratization, for example in gender issues or civil society.

Wolfgang Merkel studied in Heidelberg, where he also completed his doctorate and habilitation. He was Director of the Democracy and Democratization Department at the Social Science Research Center Berlin and Professor of Political Science at Humboldt University Berlin. He has been emeritus professor since 2020.

Foto: David Ausserhofer / WZB

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