Workshop: Dialogue, Polis, and Democracy

Karlsruhe 2024

In today’s world, is democracy still present? 

The workshop addressed this question, together with our understanding of democracy today. In this context, socio-political and economic forces threatening democracy today have been intensively discussed, in addition to perspectives of how to tackle them. We also dealt with basic understandings of democracy according to our Western cultural heritage. The focus was on moderated discussions of the single topics addressed.

It was a vivid and intense discussion, with participants from different professional fields and standpoints. The Online-participants came from India as well as from Europe and the USA, both “homelands” of democracy, which ensured a broad spectrum of perspectives. The lead perspective was the relationship between democracy and community. In this context, the basic understandings of democracy according to our Western cultural heritage have been discussed, together with our understanding of democracy today. Based on these topics, the question raised what it would need to reestablish a truly active democracy again, with a direct involvement of citizens.   

We also addressed the existing confinements generated by a neoliberal market agenda, a theme that shall be dealt with in an in depth manner in our symposium Neoliberal Agenda in September 2024.     

The workshop took place at the Ideal Spaces foundation’s venue in Karlsruhe, on April 19, together with Pezhman Golchin from the Writers in Exile group, PEN Club Germany. Future workshops in the direction of community, liberty, and democracy are presently being planned.