5 November: The Future of Democracy, with Jürgen Habermas

For more than fifty years, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has been one of the leading thinkers in the fields of philosophy, sociology, and politics. Central to his thinking are deliberative democracy and commitment of citizens. He believes in open rational debate as a vital resource of politics and in the equality of all human beings as a foundational value underpinning democracy. Critical about the way political elites are dealing with the European crisis, driven by unrestrained financial markets, Habermas pleads for a more fully integrated, democratic European Union.


This symposium is organised on the occasion of the Erasmus Prize 2013 that will be awarded to Jürgen Habermas on Wednesday 6 November in the Palace on the Dam. The symposium offers a select group of Master students and PhD researchers an opportunity to enter into discussion with Habermas and other speakers on a range of philosophical, historical and political topics. The dialogue will be fuelled by on-going research of the students who have prepared questions in a master class.

Historian Robbert-Jan Adriaansen (EUR) has been selected to participate in the debate with Jürgen Habermas and the other speakers. PhD students Marianne Klerk and Annemieke Romein (History EUR) and two Master students History of Society (EUR) are allowed to attend the symposium.
Prof.dr. Maria Grever (EUR) will start the symposium with an introduction on Jürgen Habermas. She is professor in Theory and Methods of History, a board member of the Foundation Premium Erasmianum and one of the symposium organisers.
Prof.dr. Ingrid Robeyns (EUR) will deliver a paper on democracy and economic crisis. Ingrid Robeyns is professor in Practical Philosophy and obtained a master degree in Economics.

10:30 a.m.

  • Welcome by Pim Levelt, Former President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences
  • Introduction by Maria Grever, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Deliberative democracy and political crisis, by Jürgen Habermas, recipient of the Erasmus Prize 2013
  • Discussion moderated by Maria Grever


01:30 p.m.

  • Introduction by Ed Jonker, Utrecht University
  • Enlightenment and the limits of equality, by Siep Stuurman, Utrecht University
  • Discussion moderated by Ed Jonker


03:30 p.m.

  • Introduction by Joel Anderson, Utrecht University
  • Democracy and economic crisis, by Ingrid Robeyns, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Discussion moderated by Joel Anderson

05:00 p.m. Conclusions and drinks

For the program see

Registration is not possible anymore. 
There will be a live stream facility; starting from 10.30 hours.