Events | Jan-Werner Müller: On the Future of Political Representation [CANCELLED]

Los Angeles | March 13, 2020 | 7:00 PM

Philosopher and political theorist Jan-Werner Müller will speak in the series "55 Voices for Democracy" on March 13, 2020 at the Thomas Mann House.

© Tor Birk Trads

Most political scholars today agree: political parties, at least in Europe, are past their peak. Approval ratings for parties are on a steady decline and membership is dwindling. But from Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece to the rightwing populist Alternative für Deutschland, the past years have also brought about new political parties that have—at least ostensibly—integrated into existing political systems. Is it thus accurate to talk about a crisis of political representation today? How might political legitimization and representation be produced in the future? And which role will parties and political media play?

Political philosopher Jan-Werner Müller (Princeton) will be speaking at the Thomas Mann House as part of the series “55 Voices for Democracy”. The series “55 Voices for Democracy” is inspired by the 55 BBC radio addresses Thomas Mann delivered from his home in California to thousands of listeners in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the occupied Netherlands and Czechoslovakia between October 1940 and November 1945. In his monthly addresses, Mann spoke out strongly against fascism, becoming the most significant German defender of democracy in exile.

Building on this legacy, the series brings together internationally-esteemed intellectuals, scholars, and artists to present ideas at the Thomas Mann House for the renewal of democracy—among them Orhan Pamuk, Bruce Ackerman, Ananya Roy, Timothy Snyder, Francis Fukuyama and Seyla Benhabib. The event with Jan-Werner Müller will be moderated by political scientist Dawn Nakagawa, executive vice president of the Berggruen Institute.

Jan-Werner Müller teaches political theory and history of ideas at Princeton University. He studied at FU Berlin, University College London, University of Oxford and Princeton University. His book “What is Populism?” was translated into various languages and is regarded as a central text for the understanding of current political developments. Jan-Werner Müller comments regularly on current affairs; he writes, among others, for Foreign Affairs, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, New York Times and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Last year his book “Furcht und Freiheit. Für einen anderen Liberalismus” (“Fear and Freedom: For a different Liberalism”) was published by Suhrkamp.


Dawn Nakagawa is Executive Vice President of the Berggruen Institute. The institute is aiming to deepen our understanding of the great developments of our time and to foster appropriate political institutions. Areas of activity of the institute include the future of democracy, the transformation of the human, globalization and economic change. Before her position at the Berggruen Institute, Dawn Nakagawa was active for the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles and the consulting firm McKinsey. She holds degrees from McGill University and the Chicago Booth School of Business.



Media partners for the series are Deutschlandfunk, Los Angeles Review of Books and Süddeutsche Zeitung.


Villa Aurora & Thomas Mann House e. V. is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office and Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.



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