Claus Leggewie

Claus Leggewie is a political scientist. Since 2015 has been Ludwig Börne Professor at the Justus Liebig University in Gießen. His book ‘Europe First: A Declaration of Independence’ came out in 2017Claus Leggewie is a member of the Eurozine Advisory Board and co-publisher of Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik.


Cover for: From ‘expropriate Springer’ to #deletefacebook?

In 1968, West German students protested against the monopoly of the Springer Press. Does the campaign have an equivalent today? Given the power and ubiquity of social media, Claus Leggewie doubts it. Like the ’68ers before them, a genuinely alternative European media must create its own means of production.

Cover for: Resist, don’t reminisce!

Resistance is a word inextricably linked to historical anti-fascism. So can it be used to describe opposition to contemporary authoritarianisms? Yes, argues Claus Leggewie: wherever the foundations of democracy are being undermined, the history of resistance teaches us how to respond.

Cover for: No socialism is not the answer! Reappraising the politics of ’68

Retrospectives of 1968 tend to dismiss its socialism and instead to see identity politics as its primary legacy. Rightly so? Claus Leggewie asks how far the New Left achieved its political goals and whether identity politics were necessarily incompatible with its anti-capitalist and social-revolutionary agenda.

Cover for: Who is

Who is "the people"

Participation between collective rage and constructive involvement

Current usage of the word “populist” in the German and European media is beginning to obscure the alarming rise of xenophobia and authoritarian tendencies across the continent. In the face of which, Claus Leggewie argues that it’s high time for rhetorical anti-fascism to take a practical turn. This means meeting an urgent need for democratic participation to be extended beyond (but never used against) political parties and parliaments.

wind turbines

Breaking out of the debt dilemma

How Greece can strengthen Europe

Political and economic relations need to be established that provide Greek society with a future in Europe, argues Claus Leggewie. But if this is to happen, even more important than dealing with the past is future-oriented investment in areas such as renewable energy.

Deutsche Kleinstadt Ebersheim mit Windmühlen

The future council

New forms of democratic participation

Decisions on large-scale infrastructure projects and sustainable energy development must draw on dialogue-based processes. “Future councils” can provide a basis for political identity through the expression of regional cohesion and clarify the implications that large infrastructure projects have at a local level.

Map of EU

Transnational citizenship

Ideals and European realities

Claus Leggewie pieces together the preconditions of transnationality – migrant communities, religious pluralism and hybrid popular mass culture – with a view to foregrounding the challenge that it presents: between local cultures and global markets, how can a cross-border demos be constructed?

On 9 November 1918, the first German Republic was declared; exactly four years later, Hitler staged a putsch. The Reichskristallnacht on 9 November in 1938 was linked to both and on 9 November 1989 the division of Germany came to an end. How, then, should Germany commemorate this fateful and ambiguous day?


Decadence or renewal?

Deciding the future of the Mediterranean

Regeneration of the Mediterranean region must draw on its legacy of cosmopolitan democracy while offering prospects for ecological, energy-political and scientific development. The Mediterranean may then re-enter the European consciousness as the Mare nostrum, with all the joint responsibilities that entails.

Memory laws are the wrong way for Europeans to remember and debate their difficult pasts, argues Claus Leggewie and Horst Meier. Europe needs a pluralism of memory policies. That is why 23 August is a good candidate for a truly pan-European day of remembrance.

Cover for: Continuities denied

Continuities denied

Explaining Europe's reluctance to remember migration

Why does Europe find it so difficult to remember the facts of migration, both voluntary and forced? Reluctance to address the more noxious aspects of collective European identity impedes an engagement with migration history, argues Claus Leggewie.

Sea and sun for Europe

A new project for the next generation

Democratic upsurge in North Africa can combine with the renewable energy revolution to inject new life into the European project. Two-way developmental traffic across the Mediterranean would leave new generations in both North and South with fair chances of a good life, Claus Leggewie suggests.

In Germany, conservatives criticize a pastiche of multiculturalism to justify authoritarian policies and deflect attention from decades of neglect, argues Claus Leggewie. Failure to recognize Muslims as part of society is to risk repeating an historical mistake.

Europe’s collective memory is as diverse as its nations and cultures and cannot be regulated by official acts of state or commemorative rituals, writes Claus Leggewie. The most significant challenge for a European memory is to reconcile “competing” memories of the Holocaust and the Gulag. Yet other historical experiences must also be integrated: memories of wartime and expulsion, of colonialism and immigration, and not least of the “success” of the European Union.

Every day is Copenhagen

A breakthrough in international climate policy is still possible

Neither the industrialised nor the emerging countries are able to solve the climate problem by “going it alone”, write Claus Leggewie and Dirk Messner. In Copenhagen, the European Union needs to table a set of exacting reduction targets, without conditioning them on the willingness of others to follow suit.

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