Transitioning from State Socialism to Democratic Capitalism. Observations on Ten Construction Sites

Lecture by Claus Offe

22.11, 19:00, The House of Cinema, Blue hall
One generation after the end of European state socialism – an end that was hoped for by many yet predicted by few – seems to be a good time for stock taking. Initially it was hoped that after this end, including that of the Cold War, a putatively “normal” system of democratic capitalism and international peace would emerge. But that expectation was naïve from the beginning. What are the current and persisting problems of post-Communist societies and polities in their historically unique transition from socialism to capitalism? And who are the dominant agents? Claus Offe will focus on a political landscape with ten active construction sites.

Claus Offe, born 1940, was Professor of Political Science at Humboldt University, Berlin, where he has held a chair of Political Sociology and Social Policy. His previous positions include professorships at the Universities of Bielefeld and Bremen, where he has served as director of the Center of Social Policy Research. He has held research fellowships and visiting professorships in the US, Canada, Australia, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Italy, and the Netherlands. His fields of research are democratic theory, transition studies, EU integration, and welfare state and labor market studies. Book publications in English include Varieties of Transition (1996), Modernity and the State: East and West (1996), Institutional Design in Post-Communist Societies (1998, with J. Elster and U. K. Preuss), Reflections on America. Tocqueville, Weber, und Adorno in the United States (2005), Europe Entrapped (2014) and Citizens in Europe (2016, with U. K. Preuss).

The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Ukrainian.