Ralf Dahrendorf obituary

Yesterday the Financial Times ran an obituary from Liberal Democrat peer William Wallace:

Ralf Dahrendorf, who has died at the age of 80, crowded several careers, in Germany and Britain, into a single life.

First a leading academic sociologist, then a rising Liberal German politician, director of the London School of Economics and later warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford, he combined political engagement and intellectual debate. He was successively a German minister, a European commissioner and a British peer. He was a European public intellectual; the author of nearly 30 books, and a long-standing columnist for Die Zeit and La Repubblica as well as for English and French media. Yet he was never entirely comfortable in any of those posts, except at the LSE; he was instinctively a liberal dissenter who enjoyed questioning the ruling consensus, whatever it might be.

You can read the full piece here.

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This entry was posted in Obituaries.


  • A few weeks ago we had following the Sunday Politics Show an interesting debate about whether the Lib Dems should repay the £2.4 million from Michael Brown. Tonight we learn from Newsnight and the BBC web-site the Lib Dems are to be investigated for “money laundering” of the £2.4m. They may be prosecuted under the Proceeds of Crime legislation. Why has Nick Clegg who was challenged on this subject on the Politics Show not yet taken action? Recently on other issues Nick has done relively better than previously but his failure not to have ensured the Michael Brown money was returned may do tremendous damage to the Party. Lets hope he does not differ any longer.

  • Herbert Brown 20th Jun '09 - 12:47am

    The head of the economic crime unit, detective chief superintendent Stephen Head, said: “On the face of it they seem to be serious allegations.”

  • Grammar Police 20th Jun '09 - 9:09am

    Mike, Herbert – what has this got to do with someone’s obituary? Why are you posting this here?

    Don’t you realise that the only person the Brown money could be returned to is him? Do you think that would be a good thing?

    As for the tracing claim, it’s a desparate attempt by someone who was defrauded.

  • Herbert Brown 20th Jun '09 - 9:17am


    Sorry – I saw Mike’s post and responded without thinking. Of course this isn’t the right place to discuss it. I should be happy for my comment to be removed.

  • GP fair point re obituary. I am also very sorry to have commented on the Michael Brown money issue here. A stupid mistake. It would help if there was a separate blog for this very important issue.

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