WZB - Berlin Social Science Center

What citizens think about Muslim immigrants has important implications for some of the most pressing challenges facing Western democracies. A new study by Marc Helbling and Richard Traunmüller dismantles the simplistic dichotomy between liberal supporters and conservative critics of immigration and reveals that the friction between political liberalism and religious fundamentalism also plays an important role.

Portrait Werner Krause
David Ausserhofer

Werner Krause is the recipient of this year’s Friends of the WZB Award for his investigation into how centrist political parties react to the electoral successes of radical-right and populist parties.

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WZB Distinguished Lecture

Why inequality persists and even grows in democracies forms the topic of the WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences on November 22, given by Ian Shapiro from Yale University. 

A small wooden figure stands on a platform in front of a crowd of similiar puppets, apparently making a speech to them.
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What are the international consequences of authoritarian rule? How do developments abroad affect dictatorships domestically? APIR, a new workshop series organized by WZB researchers, gets to grips with these questions.

Dress shoes standing next to Rich and Poor
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How to bring back social cohesion, asks WZB President Jutta Allmendinger in the Washington Post. Social interaction between different social circles whether through discourse, clarification, affirmation, or examination of changing norms and values is crucial for any democratic society to function. But people need also the security of the familiar, emphasizes Allmendinger.

New Publication

A new book edited by Wolfgang Merkel and Sascha Kneip discusses the potential causes of the current “crisis of democracy.” Does this stem from a lack of participation by citizens, the absence of trust in the political elite, or does the real root of the problem lie with political institutions themselves? Among other topics, the researchers analyze the role of globalization and deregulation and demonstrate why challenges to democracy have morphed into phenomena of crisis.

WZB in the media

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15 November
Deutschlandfunk, 9 November

Media coverage


The WZB Berlin Social Science Center investigates fundamental societal issues. Our focus is on education and work, markets and choice, migration, democracy and autocracy, international politics and law. At the WZB researchers from various disciplines work together – mainly from sociology, political science, economics, law and psychology.