Claus Offe

Portrait Claus Offe_Hertie School_300

Claus Offe, Non-Resident Permanant Fellow at the IWM since 2015 and a member of the Insitute’s Academic Advisory Board, teaches Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. He completed his PhD at the University of Frankfurt and his Habilitation at the University of Konstanz. In Germany, he has held chairs for Political Science and Political Sociology at the Universities of Bielefeld (1975-1989) and Bremen (1989-1995), as well as at the Humboldt-University of Berlin (1995-2005). He has worked as fellow and visiting professor at, among others, the Institutes for Advanced Study in Stanford, Princeton, and the Australian National University as well as Harvard University, the University of California at Berkeley and the New School University, New York.


What Is Wrong with Referendum Democracy?

Contemporary populism claims that political elites are mis-representing the true and authentic ‘‘will of the people‘‘. As a consequence, its protagonists advocate legislation by referendum and ‘direct’ democracy. The project aims at demonstrating what is wrong with this reasoning. The focus is on the role of losers and dissenters. In representative democracy, they still enjoy the rights of an opposition. In direct democracy, they are simply mistaken and thus rightly deprived of voice.


Europa in der Falle

Die Krise zeigt, wie unbedacht es war, einem heterogenen Wirtschaftsraum eine Einheitswährung zu verordnen, ohne ihn politisch zu einen. Die Eurozone ist nun gespalten in Gewinner und Verlierer. Der Süden ächzt unter dem verheerenden Spardiktat, rechtspopulistische Kräfte machen im Norden mobil. Wir haben es mit einer Krise des Krisenmanagements zu tun: Die Technokraten in Brüssel …
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Citizens in Europe: Essays on Democracy, Constitutionalism and European Integration

This interdisciplinary collection of essays by a constitutionalist and a political sociologist examines how fragmented societies can be held together by appropriate and effective constitutional arrangements providing for bonds of democratic citizenship. Exploring the political order dilemmas of capitalist democracies, the authors address moral and institutional prerequisites on which the deepening of European integration depends. …
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On Sharing Responsibility

"Responsibility" is a triadic concept: Someone is responsible to someone (or even "all of us") for (refraining from) doing something. The concept plays a role in political ethics (Weber's famous "ethics of responsibility") as well as in theories of distributive justice (the rule that you should be rewarded in proportion to what you have been responsible for in terms of your efforts and ambition).
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