Gorm Harste earns higher doctoral degree in philosophy

Associate Professor Emeritus in political science Gorm Harste has just become a doctor in philosophy. His doctoral dissertation entitled The Habermas – Luhmann Debate, published by Columbia University Press, was defended on Friday 14 April.

Gorm Harste Photo: IFSK
Gorm Harste after the higher doctoral defence. Photo: IFSK
Gorm Harste Photo: IFSK
Gorm Harste during the higher doctoral defence Photo: IFSK
Gorm Harste and the assessment committee Photo: IFSK
Gorm Harste and the assessment committee Photo: IFSK

On Friday 14 April 2023, a dissertation defence was held for Gorm Harste, now a fully fledged doctor in philosophy. He is receiving his higher doctoral degree on the basis of his dissertation entitled The Habermas – Luhmann Debate, which has been published by Columbia University Press. This is Gorm Harste’s second higher doctoral degree; he already has a higher doctoral degree in political science.

"My dissertation in political science was a critique of the sense of war, and my new dissertation defends the sense, limitations and opportunities of peace. Burning questions about war and peace demand basic research," says Gorm Harste. The two dissertations complement each other in this respect.

Gorm Harste’s doctoral dissertation aims to show what we can learn from the German socio-philosophical debate after 1945. After the war, Germany had to find ways to resolve conflicts and to get democrats and the successors of Nazism to work together. Haberman and Luhmann were important voices in the debate about forging peace.

The topic is still relevant for modern conflicts, for example between Democrats and Republicans in the USA; Russia and Ukraine; Brexit in the UK; the EU and the European future as well as between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.

The dissertation defence was held at the faculty of Arts at Aarhus University with a large attendance. The assessment committee consisted of:

  • Professor of Philosophy and Latina/o Studies, Eduardo Mendieta, Penn State University, College of the Liberal Arts – 1st official opponent
  • Professor of Law, Chris Thornhill, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester – 2nd official opponent
  • Professor, dr. Lars Albinus, Department of the Study of Religion, Aarhus University – head of committee

CV for Gorm Harste

Gorm Harste was born in 1955, is married with Bernadette Dubois and has two adult children.

He has a postgraduate Diplôme des Etudes Européennes from Université de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, a master’s degree in philosophy, and a master’s degree in political science from Aarhus University.

He has a higher doctoral degree in political science from University of Copenhagen from 2016, and now also a higher doctoral degree in philosophy from Aarhus University from 2023.

He has held positions at Aalborg University and University of Odense (now University of Southern Denmark). In 1996, he became an associate professor at the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University, where he is still associated as an associate professor emeritus.

In addition to his research, Gorm Harste has held various positions of trust, such as member of Council of Nature, Danish Government, and UN Council on Conditions for Social Progress for the period 1996-2001, vice-president for Research Network on Social Theory, European Sociological Association in 2011, member of Steering Group of the research centre LUMEN at Aarhus University, and director of studies at the Department of Political Science at Aarhus University in the period 2003-2005.

Gorm Harste has written and edited many articles, book chapters and books, including Habermas, Kritik af krigens fornuft, Systemteoretiske analyser: At anvende Luhmann, and the Reflection Krig.


More about Gorm Harste and his research at his PURE profile:

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