Ralf Dahrendorf

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Dahrendorf, Ralf


Born May 1, 1929. in Hamburg. German sociologist (West Germany).

Under Nazism, Dahrendorf was imprisoned (1944–45) in a concentration camp for his antifascist activity. In 1958 he became a professor of sociology at Hamburg, subsequently moving to Tubingen and then to Konstanz. Since 1968, Dahrendorf has been a member of the Free Democratic Party. He is the author of works on theoretical sociology and also on the current problems of development in West Germany (including Social Classes and Class Conflict in Industrial Society, 1957; Society and Democracy in Germany, 1965; and others).

Dahrendorf lays claim to the creation of a theory of classes and class conflict which he contrasts with both Marxism and with theories of class harmony. According to Dahrendorf, the principal criterion of class formation is not property relations but rather the relations of domination and subordination; economic domination does not necessarily lead to political domination. Dahrendorf asserts that dominant and subordinate classes exist in every society and that conflict between them is inevitable. He sets forth the ideal of a “liberal” and “modern” society, in which social conflicts are acknowledged and regulated. There would exist an equality of initial chances for everybody, individual competition, and a high degree of social mobility. Dahrendorf criticizes West German society from a liberal bourgeois point of view, noting the existence of social inequality and the privileges of a minority with regard to obtaining an education.


Gesellschaft und Freiheit. Munich, 1961.
Homo Sociologicus, 3rd ed. Cologne, 1961.
Industrie-und Betriebssoziologie, 4th ed. Berlin, 1967.
Pfade aus Utopia. Berlin, 1967.
Für eine Erneuerung der Demokratie in der Bundesrepublik. Munich, 1968.
Die angewandte Aufklärung: Gesellschaft und Soziologie in Ameri-ka, 2nd ed. Frankfurt am Main, 1968.


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Ankara did not imagine that the conflict in Syria would last this long and so continuously accepted Syrians to Turkey but did not develop any long-term policies to deal with the cost and other aspects of the refugees," he said at the Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable titled "The Refugee Crisis: Responding together -- Challenge for the EU and Turkey," which was held on Nov.
177-201; the quotation in paragraph 2 is referenced to Ralf Dahrendorf, Classi nella societa industriale (Bari: Laterza, 1970) 65.
Tony Judt in his book Ill Fares the Land echoes Ralf Dahrendorf in seeing the welfare state as one of the great achievements of human history, giving people life chances no previous generations had.
Dahrendorf as two targets of his criticism--gave us an insufficient tool for its study.
In 1985, he was appointed to the OECD's Expert Committee on Labour Market Flexibility, chaired by Ralf Dahrendorf, former Director of the LSE, and comprised of experts from a range of advanced economies.
Schattschneider, Barnard Crick, Ralf Dahrendorf and Arend Lijphart have insisted that conflicts and reconciliations are essential to democracy (Rustow, 1970:328).
For Dahrendorf power is "unequally divided, and therefore a lasting source of friction.
Robert Dahl, Ralf Dahrendorf, David Miller, Philippe Schmitter, and many others have declared, more or less politely, that the idea of applying the concept of democracy beyond the state is premature, naive, or simply wrong and dangerous.
The finance ministers of economically-troubled nations such as Greece and Portugal are more likely to be highly educated in economics than their peers in other countries, including the UK, according to new research which was presented at the 2011 Dahrendorf Symposium in Berlin.
Ralf Dahrendorf, The Modern Social Conflict: The Politics of Liberty, rev.
Ralph Dahrendorf, again a person having a high reputation and experience, had held this position consecutively for two five-year terms and had during this time raised further the status of the school despite several heavy odds.
24) Ralf Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy in Germany (New York: Doubleday, 1967), 147, quoted in Marina Ottaway 2007, 604.