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The evening lecture by Jun. Prof. Dr. Jelena von Achenbach, LL.M, “Gender and Democratic Representation under the Basic Law”, which she gave on Monday, 13.01.20 at the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, is now available online as audio. It is about the dispute over the constitutionality of the Brandenburg Parity Law, which will be negotiated as of today before the Brandenburg Constitutional Court.

Announcement text of the lecture

In all German parliaments the elected representatives are predominantly men. In Baden-Württemberg, the proportion of men in the state parliament is 75.5 percent. In the Bundestag it is 68.7 percent. Against this background, can and should all parties be legally obliged to nominate as many women as men for elections (“parity”)? This is very controversial in Germany at both federal and state level. In the lecture and workshop, this dispute about parity provides the material for discussing what the unequal gender relations in parliaments mean for the democratic quality of political representation. This is a normative, democracy-theoretical and at the same time a legal question. For it directly concerns the central democratic principles of the constitution: political equality and freedom, representative democracy and the openness of the democratic process. The dispute about the unequal gender relations in German parliaments and parity revolves essentially around whether the constitutional principles develop critical, progressive significance. Or do they instead legitimise and conserve the status quo as formal principles (“The members of the Bundestag are representatives of the whole people.”)?

Audio Download

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Post about the lecture

More about the lecture series

Further dates and background information can be found here

The lecture series is organized by Karsten Schubert with the support of the Team of the Chair of Political Theory, Philosophy and History of Ideas of the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg and in cooperation with the Freiburg Colloquium politicum.

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