Walther Rathenau Kolleg: Liberalism and Democracy

Social SciencesPolitical scienceHumanitiesHistory and archaeologyPhilosophy, ethics and religion

The Walther Rathenau Kolleg (WRK), named after the Foreign Minister of Germany during the Weimar Republic, is an interdisciplinary PhD Research Group funded by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and affiliated to the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies Potsdam. The scholars and fellows take part in a coordinated course program, a colloquium and working groups.


WRK promotes excellent doctoral projects focusing on the topics of liberalism and pro-democracy movements since the late 18th century. This includes all forms of Jewish movements, Christian-Jewish and German-Jewish relations, perceptions of the “Jewish question”, Antisemitism and counter-reactions to Antisemitism. Fields of research are:

  • Crisis and future of the democratic constitutional state
  • Continuities and discontinuities of European post-war liberalism
  • Rise and development of the civic women’s movement in the context of the liberalization of European societies
  • Liberal-democratic cultures of remembrance in a European comparison
  • Jewish biographies in connection with liberal movements

WKR focuses on History, Jewish Studies, Literature and Cultural History, but is also open for scholars of Sociology, Political Science, European Anthropology, and other related disciplines.

Prof. Dr Julius H. Schoeps Dr Elke-Vera Kotowski programme liberalisation

Contact Information
Chair: Prof. Dr Julius H. Schoeps
Coordinator: Dr Elke-Vera Kotowski
Moses Mendelssohn Zentrum
Am Neuen Markt 8
14467 Potsdam
Telephone: +49 331 2809412
E-mail: kotowski@uni-potsdam.de
Web: http://www.mmz-potsdam.de/walther-rathenau-kolleg.html
Deadlines: calls and deadlines vary
Places: 30
Scholarships: none; via Naumann Foundation