Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster „Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration“

The Disenchantment of Politics (Diskussionbeiträge N.F. 4)

Prof. Dr. Kees van Kersbergen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Konstanz until October 2008)

Van Kersbergen analyses the disenchantment of politics in western democracies; he tries to explain this phenomenon against the background of modern projects such as nation building, democracy, welfare state, and European integration. But he ends up with a rather pessimistic outlook:

Currently, I see no project or mission on the horizon, which could be interpreted as comparably enchanting, sagacious, yet still cautious, as the projects of the Nation-State, Democracy, the Welfare State and European Integration. On the contrary, the political enterprises that are filling the void seem to be endangering democracy and are, ultimately and in their effects, endangering the integration of society.

Print Version

You can download the article from the institutional repository of the University of Konstanz: Download (PDF)

Audio Logo

Audio Recordings


Philip Manow (2:52 min, Download, mp3)


Kees van Kersbergen (27:23 min, Download, mp3)