11 March 2019: The End of Social Democracy: Historical Reflections on Ralf Dahrendorf’s Thesis

Leiden University’s Central and East European Studies Center cordially invites you to attend the lecture

The End of Social Democracy: Historical Reflections on Ralf Dahrendorf’s Thesis

by Oliver Rathkolb (University of Vienna)

  • Date: Monday 11 March 2019
  • Time: 17:30-19:00
  • Venue: Lipsius building, Room: 148

In 1983 sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf famously concluded that the century of social democracy was over, as most of the goals associated with the movement had been achieved. But many of those achievements—for example in the field of social security and labour rights—had been thrown into reverse in the neo-liberal era. It therefore appears to be timely to reconsider Dahrendorf’s thesis in the light of the developments in the world in the last three and half decades.

Oliver Rathkolb


Oliver Rathkolb is a foremost Austrian historian and public intellectual who works as Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna. His research addresses contemporary European and Austrian political and cultural history. Among his numerous publications is the book The Paradoxical Republic. Austria 1945-2000 (Berghahn: New York -Oxford, 2010) and his work dealt extensively with the history of social democracy and especially the legacy of Bruno Kresky. Professor Rathkolb is member of the advisory board of the House of European History in Brussels and a frequent contributor to public debates on European and Austrian affairs.