Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Graduate School (Graduiertenkolleg): History of Left-Wing Politics in Germany beyond Social Democracy and Communism
Graduate School under the auspices of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS)
Heads of the Graduate School: Mario Keßler/ZZF, Stefan Berger/Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Project Co-Leader: Mario Keßler/ZZF Potsdam
Coordination doctoral college: Ralf Hoffrogge
Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Science and Research between 2014 and 2018.
In the twentieth century debates about communism vs. social democracy have been framed by the problem of transforming or reforming capitalism. This has been the case both for the political and the academic debate. Communists accused the social democrats of betraying working-class interests by abandoning the ultimate goal of transforming capitalism. Social democrats in turn sought to justify alternative ways of imagining a society, which combined state intervention and markets in order to achieve a more centralized distribution of resources and provision of life chances.
The graduate school was established under the auspices of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) and is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Science and Research between 2015 and 2019. Professor Stefan Berger, Ruhr University at Bochum, and Professor Mario Keßler, ZZF, jointly direct the school.
The school's projects intend to explore the history of minority politics within the labor movement in the twentieth century. Leftist organizations outside the established labor parties have shown a remarkable concern for the problems of democratic and just organization of society.
The program includes one habilitation project and four doctoral projects. Dr. Ralf Hoffrogge writes his habilitation thesis on crisis perception and crisis policy in British and German trade unions, 1919-2013; Richard Stoenescu (PhD Project completed "summa cum laude" in June 2020) works on revolutionary syndicalism in Germany and the United States between the two world wars; Julia Ehms investigates the workplace policy of the anarcho-syndicalist Free Workers' Union of Germany in the Weimar Republic; Sarah Langwald explores the protests against state repression and surveillance in West Germany between 1945 and 1968; David Bebnowski (PhD Project completed "summa cum laude" in August 2020) investigates the emergence of the West Berlin New Left through the mirror of their political magazines ‘Das Argument’ and ‘Prokla’.
While Ralf Hoffrogge, Julia Ehms, and Sarah Langwald are associated with the Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University at Bochum, David Bebnowski and Richard Stoenescu write their projects at the Historical Institute, University of Potsdam.
Prof. Dr. Mario Keßler
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
Office: Am Neuen Markt 9d, room 1.24
Email: mariokessler [at] yahoo.com