Claus Offe

Claus Offe is among the world’s most respected political sociologists, whose sophisticated analyses of capitalism, democracy and European politics have been widely lauded. Now Professor Emeritus of Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance, he began his academic career as a protégé of Habermas, and became a crucial figure in the second generation of the Frankfurt School. Remaining broadly in the Marxist tradition, his early work traced the dynamics of state intervention and crisis management in late capitalism, emphasizing the need to see the state in relational terms. Since then, he has carried out important comparative studies of the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe and the changing role of the welfare state, as well as providing one of the most insightful diagnoses of the recent European economic crisis in his Polity book Europe Entrapped. His other Polity books include Modernity and the State and Reflections on America.