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Streit ums Politische 2016/17: »Das Ende Europas«

In the medium term, Europe will perhaps hold only six percent of the world’s population. Today the middle-classes are growing in emerging countries like Vietnam, Nigeria and South Korea but no longer in Great Britain, Belgium or Finland. On the contrary: people dread the decline and, resenting the other, are retreating into an identity with phantasmagorical traits. In EU countries the Austrian Freedom Party, the French Front National, the Dutch Freedom Party and the Danish People’s Party, with almost 30 percent of the vote, seem to be expressions of anti-European sentiment. At the point when Europe is becoming more provincial in the context of global society, is the continent in the process of dismembering itself?

The new season in the »Streit ums Politische« series deals with Europe’s social, political and cultural endgames. Why are the Europeans so angry, disheartened and helpless? Is it due to a misperception by people who have fallen in love with failure, or a realistic image of a European population who mistrust their political elites? Perhaps the question of the impossibility of Europe needs to be asked in order to make visible its possibility as a unique project of transnational interconnectedness on the global political stage. This is what Heinz Bude will be discussing with his guests on four evenings in the fall of 2016. Among them is Ulrich Bielefeld, sociologist and author of »Nation and Society« from the Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung as well as Luuk von Middelaar, who has been an advisor and speechwriter for Hermann Van Rumpuy, the first permanent president of the European Council for many years. His Book »The Passage to Europe: A History of a Beginning « was awarded with the European Book Prize in 2012 and he now teaches at the Universities of Leiden and Louvain.

Heinz Bude is Professor of Macrosociology at the University of Kassel. His research focuses on changes in social inequality and its implications for the self-actualisation of contemporary societies. »Gesellschaft der Angst« (»Society of Fear«) was published in 2014 and is now in its sixth edition; »Das Gefühl der Welt. Über die Macht von Stimmungen« (»The Feeling of the World. On the Power of Sentiments«) was published in 2016.