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01/18/2019 - 01/18/2019 | Berlin

World Politics as a Vocation.

Max Weber‘s Politik als Beruf at 100

How many lectures by a German professor are still remembered a hundred years later? Not many. Yet, Max Weber’s Politik als Beruf, the lecture he gave in Munich on 28th January 1919, still gets citations from scholars, journalists, and politicians alike. Is this because Weber’s concerns are still ours, as revealed in our continuous use of words like charisma and bureaucratization? Or is it perhaps because in his lecture Weber famously distinguished between a Gesinnungsethik and a Verantwortungsethik, a distinction later revamped as logic of appropriateness and logic of consequences? Perhaps the lectures endure in our memory because of Weber’s prescience: he feared, almost rightly, that within ten years ‘a reactionary age will have broken over us’. Equally insightfully, Weber argued that in modern states only parties employing large numbers of bureaucrats could mobilize the masses. To break the bureaucratization of politics would only be possible for a charismatic figure akin to nowadays’ populist leaders. However, as Weber spoke about Politik als Beruf, he knew that the future of Germany depended less on mass parties than on the elites of foreign powers that were about to dictate the terms of the Versailles peace treaty. It is indeed world politics, understood both as the context of Weber’s lecture and as a main topic of his writings during the war years, what this workshop’s presentations discuss: they focus on the space where ethics, knowledge, and domination encounter Weltpolitik.

4:00 pm
Welcome Michael Zürn, Director, Global Governance Research Unit, and Álvaro Morcillo, WZB

4:15 pm
Max Weber’s Political Ethics
Richard Lebow, King’s College London
Discussant: Klaus Schliche, University of Bremen

5:00 pm
Foreign Policy Expert as a Vocation
Álvaro Morcillo, WZB
Discussant: Beate Jahn, University of Sussex

5:45 pm – Break

6:00 pm
On Weber‘s Ideas for the Study of International Relations
Edith Hanke, Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Discussant: Michael Zürn, WZB

6:45 pm – Q&A

7:00 pm – End

Information on participating / attending:
Our event location is wheelchair-accessible. If you need support, please let Friederike Theilen-Kosch know:


01/18/2019 16:00 - 01/18/2019 18:00

Registration deadline:


Event venue:

Reichpietschufer 50, Room A 300
10785 Berlin

Target group:

Journalists, Scientists and scholars

Email address:


transregional, national

Subject areas:

Politics, Social studies

Types of events:

Presentation / colloquium / lecture, Seminar / workshop / discussion




Dr. Harald Wilkoszewski


Informations- und Kommunikationsreferat

Event is free:


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