Mi / 10:00 – 11:30

And Yet They Quarrel

Past Interpretations of the Relationship between Capitalism and Democracy

Max Krahé, University of Duisburg-Essen

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Raum 106, Goethestraße 31, 45128 Essen

The relationship between democracy and capitalism is one of the major questions of our time. The extent to which these two principles of social order are compatible with each other is being discussed and questioned anew. This talk and the underlying paper give context to these contemporary debates by tracing past accounts of their relationship. Despite shifting and contested conceptions of the two core terms, and despite significant changes in historical context, I argue that three families of accounts can be identified as central narratives over the course of the last two centuries: incompatibility accounts, partnership accounts, and, most recently, accounts that foreground a gradually unfolding antagonism between the two. Over the longue durée, partnership or compatibility accounts emerge as the exception, incompatibility or antagonistic accounts as the norm.

The ColloKWIum provides a platform to present and discuss ongoing as well as emerging research projects. In addition to addressing projects within KWI – including the work of our new fellows – it is open to guest lectures that tie in with the institute’s research agenda