Opening up Spaces for Discourse

Discussion with the Hessian Minister of Science Timon Gremmels

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The current state of democracy and the perspec­tives of democracy research were the defining topics of the ex­change between the Hessian Minister of Science and the Arts (Hessisches Ministerium für Wissen­schaft und Kunst - HMWK) Timon Gremmels and students of Goethe University as well as doctoral students of PRIF on April 24, 2024. The discussion took place as a joint event of the Depart­ment 03 Social Sciences of Goethe University, the Research Center Normative Orders and the PRIF.

After brief introductions by Nicole Deitelhoff, Rainer Forst and Christopher Daase and a welcoming address by the Minister, the students formulated their views on current political processes in Germany. They commented on the crisis of representative democracy, instruments of participation, the lack of spaces for productive debate and the shift of political communication to the digital space. Mona Klöckner, research associate at PRIF, recalled the recent civil society protests against the right and emphasized that these must be taken up at the level of institutional politics and should not remain without consequences. Nicole Deitelhoff, who moderated the meeting, emphasized the importance of discursive spaces, productive debate and civil society dialogue at the end of the discussion.

"Democracy thrives on constructive debate and cooperation. That is why I am very pleased about the great interest shown by the students and the lively exchange," said the Minister of Science, summing up the meeting in the subsequent press release. He had taken the current action program "11+1 for Hesse" launched by the Hessian state government as an opportunity for the exchange with the democracy researchers in Frankfurt. The HMWK dedicates its program section to the topic of democracy research.