Life, Death and Democracy

Wednesday, 13. October 2010 | 14:00 Uhr


Herbert Gottweis


University Vienna


Life and death are traditional issues of democratic political reflection. They appear in different discussion contexts – from the question about life protection to death penalty. Over the past decades, technical-scientific developments have contributed to a new dynamic of the relation between death, life and politics. In his presentation, Professor Herbert Gottweis from the University of Vienna outlined the contours of new politics regarding life and death. He questions how these new challenges can be reasonably addressed in the context of modern democracy. Life and death are often related to strong emotions and that is why a culture of non-decision making can be perceived in this context. Using several examples from Italy and the US, he illustrated the fear of politicians to make wrong decisions.

Presentation by Prof. Herbert Gottweis

Herbert Gottweis

Herbert Gottweis was born on 1958, He’s professor at the department of Political Science, University of Vienna and visting professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University, Tokyo. He also is a Research Associate at, BIOS, Centre for the Study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

He gained his Ph.D. from the University of Vienna (1984), was a visiting graduate student at the University of Rochester (1983/83), Assistant and Lecturer at the political science department, University of Salzburg (1985-1997), visiting research fellow at the Centre of European Studies, Harvard University (1989/90), visiting research fellow at MIT’s program in Science, Technology, and Society (1992/93), assistant professor at the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University (1993-95), visiting professor, Department of Social Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1997) and at The Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (2004).

Gottweis’ research focuses on comparative public policy and central issues in life science governance.

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