Stephan Lessenich - The "Open Society" and Its Contradictions: Towards a Critical Sociology of Global Inequalities - 28/04/2016

About the speaker

Stephan Lessenich is Professor at the Department of Sociology at Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. He has published widely on issues of the welfare state, capitalist dynamics, institutional transformation, and the ageing society. He is Special Fellow of the Research Group on "Postgrowth Societies" at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, and currently President of the German Sociological Association.

About the lecture

How open is the “open society”? Recent developments seem to question the adequacy and validity of this common self-description of late-modern societies. On the one hand, confronted with migration flows unprecedented in post-war times, Western societies rediscover the idea of the political closure of the nation-state and try to reserve the fruits of democratic capitalism to their national citizens only. On the other, driven by the habits of prosperity, the societies in the Global North fiercely hold to their industrialist model of economic development, despite of the negative externalities it inevitably and undeniably produces for the societies throughout the South. The costs of “open societies” locking themselves in the iron cage of their life style, political and economic, are permanently rising – and these costs are increasingly hitting back on the advanced capitalist democracies themselves. But how can this vicious circle possibly be overcome? And what may be the role of sociology in that process?


Thursday 28 April 2016

18 - 20u

Aula C.103 (see map), Prinsstraat 13 2000 Antwerp

Participation is free, but online registration is mandatory.