The Border Crosser: Ralf Dahrendorf as a Public Intellectual between Theory and Practice

Franziska Meifort

Abstract


Dahrendorf was an intellectual whose influence crossed borders in a twofold sense. In one sense, he consistently bridged the boundaries of the academic, political and public spheres. In the other sense, he lived a German-British life, becoming a transnational intellectual. As a professor of sociology and as a journalist, Dahrendorf was influential in forwarding ideas pertinent to a liberal-democratic society. In line with his desire for the greatest intellectual impact possible, Dahrendorf time and again established close links with the political sphere and became a member of the executive branch in Germany and in the European Economic Community – a position which, however, conflicted with his role as an independent intellectual. Nonetheless, the numerous boundaries he bridged, and his various professional experiences and relationships were also beneficial for his position as a public intellectual. They allowed him both an inside view and an understanding of larger contexts.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/SMP-25390



Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY- 4.0)

 
Firenze University Press
Via Cittadella, 7 - 50144 Firenze
Tel. (0039) 055 2757700 Fax (0039) 055 2757712
E-mail: info@fupress.com