Yascha Mounk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Yascha Mounk
Yascha Mounk on The Age of Responsibility.jpg
Born (1982-06-10) June 10, 1982 (age 36)
ResidenceNew York City, New York, U.S.
NationalityGerman, American
OccupationPolitical scientist, Professor
Notable work
Stranger in My Own Country. A Jewish Family in Modern Germany

The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It

Yascha Mounk (born June 10, 1982) is a German-American political scientist specializing in political theory and democracy. He is currently associate professor of the practice of international Affairs at Johns Hopkins University, a lecturer on government at Harvard University and a senior fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America. He was previously the executive director of the Renewing the Centre team at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. As a freelance journalist he has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, and Slate. He runs a podcast called The Good Fight. Mounk became an American citizen in 2017.[1]

Early life[edit]

Mounk was born in Munich. His mother is Jewish, and had been granted permission to leave Poland in 1969. He has said he felt like a stranger in Germany, and though German is his native language, he never felt accepted as a “true German“ by his peers.[2]

Mounk received a BA degree in History from Trinity College (Cambridge). He then received a PhD from Harvard University in the United States. He remained in the States, as a lecturer on Government, and was named a Senior Fellow in the Political Reform Program at New America.[3]

SPD membership[edit]

Mounk joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) as a teenager. In 2015 he resigned from the party, doing so by publishing an open letter to then-chairman Sigmar Gabriel. He cited the lack of helpfulness of German institutions to refugees, the passive attitude of SPD leaders and other parts of the party during the Crimea crisis in 2014, and the SPD's policy on Greece, which he called a "betrayal of the social democratic dream of a united Europe".[4][5]

Political positions[edit]

In a February 2018 interview that was published in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Mounk stated that he had changed his position on nationalism. He initially considered it a relic of the past that must be overcome, but he now advocates an "inclusive nationalism" to head off the threat of aggressive nationalism.[6] On the German television newscast Tagesthemen, he stated that Germany is on a "historically unique experiment, namely to transform a mono-ethnic and monocultural democracy into a multi-ethnic one."[7] In the Israeli news organization Haaretz, Mounk advised the "liberal camp" to adopt this inclusive nationalism, to foster a multi-ethnic and democratic society. "The key... is the adoption of the populist demand that people and nations should again feel they have control of their lives or their destiny."[8]

Partial bibliography[edit]


  • Stranger in My Own Country. A Jewish Family in Modern Germany. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York 2014, ISBN 0-374-53553-1
  • The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It. Harvard University Press, 2018, ISBN 978-0674976825
  • The Age of Responsibility – Luck, Choice and the Welfare State[3]


Interviews and profiles[edit]


  1. ^ "Yascha Mounk: 'How Did I Celebrate Becoming American? Protesting Trump". The New York Times. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  2. ^ Stranger in My Own Country: A Jewish Family in Modern Germany, jewishbookcouncil.org
  3. ^ a b c About Yascha Mounk (accessed 19 December 2018)
  4. ^ Hiermit trete ich aus der SPD aus, zeit.de, 15 July 2015
  5. ^ Waarom ik uit de SPD stap, dewereldmorgen.be, 17 July 2015
  6. ^ "Die liberale Demokratie bricht gerade auseinander" , sueddeutsche.de, 15 February 2018
  7. ^ Sendung vom 20.02.2018, Tagesthemen/ARD-aktuell, 20 February 2018, at 0:24:45
  8. ^ Does the Political Scientist Who Foresaw the Trump Era Still Believe Democracy Has a Future?, archive.is, Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz, 29 March 2017; The key, says Mounk with an ironic smile, is in the slogan often used by populists, also popular among Brexit supporters: to give people a feeling they have a control over their lives and that your own nation has control over its destiny. In order for people to feel that, they have to be convinced that they can live in a multi-ethnic and democratic society and still be better off materially and the liberal camp must learn how to embrace nationalism.
  9. ^ Articles, Yascha Mounk (accessed 19 December 2018)

External links[edit]