Herfried Münkler, born in 1951, is professor of political science at Berlin’s Humboldt University and is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. Several of his books have become bestsellers and standard works in their respective fields, including The New Wars (2002), and The Myths of the Germans (2009), the latter winning the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.
DERIDING THE DOWNFALL THEORY: WHY PESSIMISM IS BAD FOR DEMOCRACY
A spectre is haunting Germany, the spectre of its downfall. Apocalyptic scenarios seem to abound these days and some people are trying their best to make them a reality. It seems a foregone conclusion that our children will be worse off than we are. But the authors of this urgent new book show why this assumption is as false as it is dangerous. Herfried and Marina Münkler also explain why these ill-defined, nebulous fears threaten social cohesion and create vulnerabilities that populists of all political persuasions are only too willing to exploit. Yet all the ceaseless talk of the nation’s downfall prevents politicians from addressing the real weaknesses in society. Education, democracy and European integration are all areas where no real progress has been made for decades. We are confronted with problems that in the medium term endanger our prosperity and the very architecture of our society.
“This book achieves something that should have been the task of the government,” wrote Der Spiegel on this book’s predecessor, Die neuen Deutschen. That’s just as true for this book, which also fights against misguided and dangerous fears, while showing what Germany needs and how we can win back our future.