Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2013

In Osteuropa 2-3/2013

“We Can Learn from Poland”
Rita Süssmuth: Science and Politics as Vocation

Deutsche Fassung


“Science as a vocation” and “politics as a vocation” were separate spheres for Max Weber. To date, scientific findings and policy implementation are considered incompatible. Rita Süssmuth, former federal minister, president of the Bundestag, and president of the German Association for East European Studies, believes this is wrong. Despite the acceleration of events and the world’s growing complexity, politics has by no means lost its ability to lead. It only needs other forms of transferring knowledge and making decisions, as well as greater freedom of thought and openness for others. That is also a lesson to be drawn from the rapprochement, understanding, and reconciliation between Germany and Poland. One can learn from Poland how to argue without inflicting irreparable damage. This is shown by the country’s dialogue with Russia over difficult historical issues. Poland should also be a partner in building trust with Turkey.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2013, pp. 137–146)