Dahrendorf Forum awarded over 2 million euros to examine Europe's changing political landscape

Stiftung Mercator has awarded the Dahrendorf Forum, a joint initiative between the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Hertie School of Governance, €2.34 million to fund a new project exploring the future of Europe in an era of uncertainty.

The Dahrendorf Forum stands not only for excellent research on the future of Europe but also for the dialogue between science and humanities and politics

Dr Wolfgang Rohe, Executive Director of Stiftung Mercator

The project will consider Europe’s strategic options for facing Brexit, the migration crisis, the rise of populism across the continent, election trends, and other future challenges. From September 2017, the Forum will oversee research from two working groups; one located in London looking at the future of European governance (chaired by Kevin Featherstone and Iain Begg of LSE) and the other in Berlin examining Europe’s societal change and politics (chaired by Helmut K. Anheier and Andrea Römmele of the Hertie School of Governance).

The award will also fund four postdoctoral Fellows - two of which will be based at LSE focusing on European governance and political culture - and three research associate positions for the duration of the of the two year project cycle.

The Dahrendorf Forum is hosted by the Hertie School in Berlin and LSE’s foreign policy think tank LSE IDEAS in London. It will be led by experienced researchers from the Hertie School, LSE’s European Institute, and LSE IDEAS. It honours the legacy of the late politician and social scientist and former LSE Director Lord Ralf Dahrendorf.  

Academic Co-Directors of the Dahrendorf Forum, Professor Helmut Anheier, President of the Hertie School, and Professor Iain Begg of the LSE European Institute and an LSE IDEAS Associate, said:

“The current turbulent political environment - including Brexit, Trumpism and the lingering migration crisis - challenges many of the assumptions, frameworks, policies and practices of national, European and international governance. While many of the implications remain unclear, there is manifestly a need for discussion and debate to explore what the changing domestic policies and geopolitics mean for Europe’s future.

The Dahrendorf Forum is committed to engage in this debate and to contribute to it in ways that point to solutions and suggest options on how to address current challenges. We very much thank Stiftung Mercator for making this initiative possible.”

Executive Director of Stiftung Mercator Dr Wolfgang Rohe added:

"The Dahrendorf Forum stands not only for excellent research on the future of Europe but also for the dialogue between science and humanities and politics. In the light of the manifold challenges facing Europe, we support this project to strengthen Europe’s ability to act, one of the central goals of our foundation."

Professor Michael Cox, Director of LSE IDEAS, said:

“Ralph Dahrendorf was one of the true 'greats' here at the LSE. An imaginative leader of people when Director - and later the School's formidable biographer -  Ralph was uncompromisingly intellectual, engaged, and last but by no means least, a true citizen of the world.

He left behind a legacy which now lives on with the Dahrendorf Forum. The School and LSE IDEAS will once again try to live up to the very high standards set by Ralph throughout a life dedicated to public service and the European ideal."



The Dahrendorf Forum is part of LSE IDEAS - LSE’s foreign policy think tank recently ranked as the world’s third best university-affiliated think tank in the Global Go To Think Tank Index. In Berlin, it is hosted by the Hertie School of Governance, one of the leading English speaking universities in Germany and an international teaching and research centre of excellence.

Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany’s leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.