Constitutional and Political Theory

Tuesday, 17 October 2017, 6:00pm - 8:00pm, IWM library

Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde is one of Europe’s foremost legal scholars and political thinkers. As a scholar of constitutional law, Böckenförde has been a major contributor to post-war German legal and political theory, especially to the conceptual framework with which the modern state and its presuppositions ought to be conceived. His writings have consistently shaped not only academic but also wider public debates from the 1950s to the present, to an extent that few European scholars can match, ranging from the “new eastern policy” (Neue Ostpolitik) to the regulation of abortion, questions of political asylum, and stem cell research. His profile as a public thinker has been further compounded by his tenure on the German federal constitutional court (1983-1996) where he authored more dissenting opinions than anyone else in the court’s history.

Böckenförde served for many years as the deputy chair of the Academic Advisor Board of the IWM and published together with Edward Shils, the board’s chair at the time Jews and Christians in a Pluralistic World (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991), based on encounters that took place at the IWM.

The launch presents his writings on constitutional and political theory, published earlier this year by OUP. A second volume, with Böckenförde’s writings on religion and law, is forthcoming in mid-2018, also with OUP.

Claus Offe
Professor of Political Sociology, Hertie School of Governance; Non-Resident Permanant Fellow, IWM
Alexander Somek
Vice head, Faculty of Law, University of Vienna

With an introduction by the book’s editors Mirjam Künkler (KHK, Bonn) and Tine Stein (University of Kiel).