Die im Herbst 2018 erstmals stattfindenden Siegfried Landshut Lectures am Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung und die daran gekoppelte Verleihung des Siegfried-Landshut-Preises erinnern an den vor 50 Jahren verstorbenen deutsch-jüdischen Politikwissenschaftler und politischen Soziologen Siegfried Landshut, der nach der Vertreibung durch die Nationalsozialisten 1951 an die Universität Hamburg zurückkehrte und maßgeblich zum Aufbau einer historisch und interdisziplinär orientierten Sozialwissenschaft in Deutschland beitrug. Dem liberal-demokratischen Geist und der Forschungstradition des Namensgebers verpflichtet, greifen die Siegfried Landshut Lectures gesellschaftspolitisch relevante Themen auf, um die akademische wie intellektuelle Debatte voranzubringen.
Siegfried Landshut Preisträger 2018 ist Michael Mann (Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles).

Donnerstag, 4. Okt. - 19 Uhr
The Decline of War?

It has long been argued that war and violence are declining, and there has been a recent revival of such optimism in the work of Azar Gat, John Mueller, Joshua Goldstein, and Steven Pinker. They perceive a long-term decline in war and violence, speeding up in the post-1945 period. Critiquing Pinker’s statistics on war fatalities, I show that the overall pattern is not decline, but substantial variation between periods and places; whole current trends are slightly in the opposite direction. The conventional view is that civil wars in the global South have replaced interstate wars in the North, but this ignores the involvement by Northern powers in most Southern civil wars. Homicide has declined in the long-term, though not everywhere, while war by the North has shifted from being »ferocious« to »callous«. This renders war less visible and less central to Northern culture, which gives the false impression of pacifism. Globally, war and violence are not declining, but being tranformed.

Begrüßung: Prof. Dr. Jan Philipp Reemtsma
Laudatio: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knöbl


Dienstag, 9. Okt. - 19 Uhr
Fear and Loathing on the Battlefield
Are humans »born killers« or do they have moral qualms about killing? I examine soldiers and airmen in wars since 1939. One dominant view is that moral qualms are strong, even leading to non-firing. This is not true. Moral qualms are rare, fear is dominant, given the horrors of battle. There are a few »real killers«, but fear is overcome by adrenalin-fueled charging or intense focus on split-second skills, as by pilots. Minimal performance is achieved by repetitive drilling, harsh discipline, and commitment to comrades (»buddies«), higher performance by ideology, as for the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front and communist infantry in Korea and Vietnam. Experience in battle teaches soldiers to keep their heads down, avoiding risks. After 40 days comes exhaustion, »shell shock«, shirking, reporting sick, plus incapacitating physiological symptoms. Fearful overfiring, not non-firing, dominates. Our soldiers must go through hell even if they live!

Siegfried Landshut Lectures

Siegfried Landshut Lectures (Broschüre als pdf)

Siegfried Landshut Lectures 2018

Unser erster Siegfried-Landshut-Preisträger Michael Mann (Distinguished Research Professor, University of California, Los Angeles) war vom 4. bis 10, Oktober 2018 am Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung zu Gast.

Donnerstag, 4. Okt. - 19 Uhr: The Decline of War?
Begrüßung: Prof. Dr. Jan Philipp Reemtsma; Laudatio: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Knöbl

Dienstag, 9. Okt. - 19 Uhr: Fear and Loathing on the Battlefield