#rp24 speaker Maximilian Steinbeis: Defending democracy

30.04.2024 - What challenges do we face in the event of the AfD party coming into power? The founder of the blog “Verfassungsblog” will present his findings.
Maximilian sitzt vor einer gekachelten Wand und trägt ein Jackett.
Photo Credit
Maurice Weiß / Ostkreuz

Is our democracy really as indestructible as we often assume? Authoritarian populists all over the world are currently trying to undermine the rule of law and fight against democratic diversity – usually under the pretence of representing the "true interests of the people". In his new book, Maximilian Steinbeis raises awareness of how populists could destroy the liberal state by abusing laws and institutions. 

At re:publica 24, he will use the example of the German state of Thuringia to talk about constitutional issues in the event of an AfD takeover: What could Thuringia and Germany face? Are schools and universities, the judiciary and police, the media and the arts under threat? And how do we secure the rule of law and our political system against authoritarian-populist attacks? While trust in our democratic social system is slowly eroding, we have little time left to defend our freedom against these attacks.

Maximilian Steinbeis is a journalist, lawyer and author. In 2009, he founded the “Verfassungsblog”. On this blog, legal scholars from all over the world publish analyses and reports on developments in current constitutional law and constitutional policy. In 2023, Verfassungsblog launched the “Thuringia Project”, which explores scenarios of an authoritarian-populist takeover in Thuringia.

In 2017, he released "Mit Rechten reden. Ein Leitfaden” (Talking to the Alt-Right. A guide), which he co-authored with Per Leo and Daniel-Pascal Zorn. This was followed in 2019 by his joint book with Stephan Detjen, "Die Zauberlehrlinge. Die Flüchtlingskrise und der Mythos vom Rechtsbruch” (The Sorcerer's apprentices. The refugee crisis and the myth of law breaches). His new book "Die verwundbare Demokratie. Strategien gegen die populistische Übernahme" (“Vulnerable Democracy. Strategies against Populist Takeover”) will be published in July 2024.

We look forward to talking to Maximilian at #rp24 about the initial results of the "Thuringia Project".