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About the lecture

It is often said that populism is both a threat and a corrective for democracy. But what is it that might have to be “corrected’? Often the answer is a crude sociological claim about “the left-behinds” or “somewheres”, or, for that matter, about the failures of “liberal elites” (who are regularly accused of being too friendly towards refugees). This lecture suggests that we should focus less on persons and more on institutions – especially the intermediary powers which have been deemed crucial for the proper functioning of representative democracy ever since the nineteenth century: political parties and free media. Both are in crisis; the lecture suggests concrete ways to address this crisis.

About the speaker

Jan-Werner Mueller is Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences at Princeton University; currently he is also a senior fellow at the Berlin Excellence Cluster “Contestations of the Liberal Script”.

Professor Mueller studied at the Free University, Berlin, University College, London, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and Princeton University. From 1996 until 2003 he was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford; from 2003 until 2005 he was Fellow in Modern European Thought at the European Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College. Since 2005 he has been teaching in the Politics Department, Princeton University.

He has been a Member of the School of Historical Studies, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, and a visiting fellow at the Collegium Budapest Institute of Advanced Study, Collegium Helsinki, the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, the Remarque Institute, NYU, the Center for European Studies, Harvard, as well as the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence. He has also taught as a visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, the Ludwig Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, the Humboldt Universitaet in Berlin, and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris.

Professor Müller is a co-founder of the European College of Liberal Arts (ECLA), Berlin, Germany’s first private, English-speaking liberal arts college, for which he served as founding research director. He maintains a strong interest in international teaching and research initiatives centered on the liberal arts.

He is the author of Another Country: German Intellectuals, Unification and National Identity (Yale UP, 2000; Chinese translation), A Dangerous Mind: Carl Schmitt in Post-War European Thought (Yale UP, 2003;German, French, Japanese, Greek, and Chinese translations); he is also the editor of Memory and Power in Post-War Europe: Studies in the Presence of the Past (Cambridge UP 2002) and German Ideologies since 1945: Studies in the Political Thought and Culture of the Bonn Republic (Palgrave 2003). His book Constitutional Patriotism was published by Princeton University Press in 2007 (Chinese, Serbian, Greek, Turkish, and Korean translations); an expanded and revised German edition was published by Suhrkamp in 2010.

His history of political thought in twentieth-century Europe, Contesting Democracy, was published by Yale University Press in the summer of 2011 (Italian, French, Danish, German, Swedish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, and Serbian translations). His book Was ist Populismus? was published by Suhrkamp in April 2016; the University of Pennsylvania Press brought out an American version in September of 2016; the book has been published or is scheduled to be published in more than twenty other languages so far. Mueller's book Furcht und Freiheit: Für einen anderen Liberalismus was published by Suhrkamp in 2019 and won the Bavarian Book Prize. His Christian Democracy: A New Intellectual History, based on his Carlyle Lectures in Oxford, is forthcoming with Harvard University Press; his Democracy Rules will appear with FSG.

His public affairs commentary and essays have appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of BooksForeign AffairsThe Guardian, the New York Times, and Project Syndicate.

Registration

This lecture will be held via Zoom. Register online here 

Please direct enquiries to  rsc-outreach@qeh.ox.ac.uk

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Past Annual Harrell-Bond Lectures

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Past Annual Elizabeth Colson Lectures

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