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Dahrendorf, Ralf

Ralf Dahrendorf's sociological lifework is the result not only of an analytical debate with Karl Marx and Max Weber, on the one hand, and with Talcott Parsons, on the other, but also of the link between politics and science, which he cared about all his life. He rubbed up against Marx; he oriented himself toward Weber; he found his place in the social sciences of the twentieth century by differentiating himself from Parsons; and he unwaveringly tried to advocate freedom in active politics and detected conflict as the creative force of human history. In his opinion, “civil society” is the most reliable anchor of freedom, because besides political democracy and free-market economy it renders the necessary stability to “the building of freedom.”

Dahrendorf's scientific and political ...

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