May 102021
 
Inglehart, Maaßen, Le Pen: two links I liked & one that makes me sad 1

I’m sad to hear that Ronald Inglehart has died. Hero worshipping is worse than useless, and great man/woman theories are just very bad sociology of knowledge. Having said that, Inglehart had an impact on the field of comparative political sociology that is hard to overestimate. He was enormously productive, and his work is cited far and wide. Inglehart’s publication list kicks off with an APSR article in 1967 that discusses backlash against European integration. In 2021 alone, he has/had one article in SMR, one in Party Politics, and a book with OUP. I’m sure that more of his manuscripts, which others now will have to revise, are currently working their way through the system.

Inglehart wrote about big ideas and about trends that swept the globe. He had a penchant for discovering (or reframing) issues that subsequently became hot, and shaped the way generations (hey, pun!) of social scientists thought about social change and its roots. What made this interesting was that he always linked these ideas to actual data.

Neither the data nor his interpretations were uncontroversial. In the mid-1990s, Bürklin, Klein & Russ claimed that his critics had already “filled libraries” refuting his claims about the silent revolution, and that was probably literally true. But the man ploughed on, unperturbed.

I have only seen Inglehart once, from afar, half a lifetime ago when he was doing a whistle-stop tour of European universities promoting (I think) Modernization & Postmodernization, so I have no personal memories of him. But many others who knew him as a friend, collaborator, teacher, mentor, or even as a fellow parent from camp are paying their tributes.

Inglehart, Maaßen, Le Pen: two links I liked & one that makes me sad 2

Germany’s former top domestic spy is a controversial person for various reasons. In 2018, he left his office under a cloud (in fact, narrowly escaping a promotion) and has been commented on political issues from the sidelines ever since then. Now, a regional CDU chapter in Thuringia has selected him as a candidate for the upcoming Bundestag election. Almost everyone is unhappy, and the discussion is going on as we speak.

In Brussels, Politico is speculating about the future of the French National Rally (formerly the Front) in a world where Marine Le Pen retires from politics or is pushed out of the party. In my view, that speculation is premature, but see for yourself.

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