Jan-Werner Müller

Jan-Werner Müller's most recent book is Democracy Rules. He teaches at Princeton, and is writing a book on architecture and democracy.

Protest Problems: Civil Repression

Jan-Werner Müller, 8 February 2024

InIf We Burn, a history of protest between 2010 and 2020, Vincent Bevins writes that the decade ‘surpassed any other in the history of human civilisation in its number of mass street demonstrations’. The responses to Black Lives Matter, Covid-19 restrictions and most recently the Israel-Hamas war suggest this decade may be just as tumultuous. Yet many governments are...

Poland after PiS

Jan-Werner Müller, 16 November 2023

Aliberal miracle​ on the Vistula: on 15 October, despite efforts by the reigning right-wing populists to make it an unfair contest, a motley opposition alliance ranging from left to centre-right prevailed in Poland’s parliamentary elections. Turnout was a record 74 per cent – higher than in the vote that ended communist rule in 1989. In a typical populist manoeuvre, Jarosław...

United Europe?

Jan-Werner Müller, 3 November 2022

Euro-cheerleaders liked to contrast the American way of promoting democracy – invade countries and make big profits for US companies – with the European one: make membership irresistible for neighbouring states, then peacefully transform polities from within (while making big profits for Western European companies). This sort of gloating stopped a while ago.

Germany Inc.: Europe’s Monsters

Jan-Werner Müller, 26 May 2022

In​ 1990 the heavy metal band Scorpions released ‘Wind of Change’, a song celebrating the end of the Cold War: ‘The future’s in the air/Can feel it everywhere.’ It also contained the hopeful lines: ‘Let your balalaika sing/What my guitar wants to say.’ It turns out, though, that they had it the wrong way round: it is Putin who calls the tune to which...

Prussian Disneyland

Jan-Werner Müller, 9 September 2021

The reconstructed palace, with Franco Stella’s razionalismo façade.

Thirty years ago​, the Bundestag voted to move from sleepy Bonn to newly unified Berlin. There was a lot of anxiety at the time that the change might signal the emergence of a more nationalist Germany, but even the most apprehensive couldn’t have imagined that the centre of the new-old capital, the...

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