A digital magazine
about politics and society

Non-profit. Independent.
Free of charge. Without ads.

Marion Jones, Bar Chart (2015), oil and acrylic, 30 x 30 x 5 cm

zoon politikon

zo|on po|li|ti|kn [ancient Greek]: Aristotle’s definition of human beings as by nature political and social creatures who ought to strive for the best possible life in a community of free and equal members (Aristotle, Politika, 1253a, 1255b, 1328a).

Politikon will be the first non-profit online magazine in which social science and humanities scholars make their expertise available to the public in English, French, and German. Our topics range from politics, society, and the economy to the environment, law, and academia.

Politikon will be independent, nonpartisan, free of charge, and without ads. In late 2020, you will be able to read our first contributions on www.politikon.net

Who we are


We are a group of social science and humanities researchers at more than 20 universities in 15 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US.

We have founded Politikon because we are concerned about the quality of the public discourse and the political and social developments in our countries.

Our mission

The social sciences and humanities generate many important insights. They provide theoretically sound and evidence-based research results that help us understand our complex world.

We want to make the knowledge of our disciplines accessible to a broad audience.

Woman speaking microphone

“The task of the social sciences is to provide orientational knowledge and thus to promote public debate and, above all, to demand it where it threatens to wane, for these are the source of the renewal of democratic polities.“

— Nicole Deitelhoff (source)

“Democracies don’t die because there are too many enemies, but because there aren’t enough friends and defenders.“

— Harald Welzer (source)

“One will not be able to cope with the vulgar and loud with greater volume. What is required is greater passion in defending political professionalism and a critical but civil conversation.“

— Sylke Tempel (source)

“This time is a test of democracy, and therefore it must also be the moment of political science!“

— Frank-Walter Steinmeier (source)

“The courage and sovereignty of political science are required more than ever in this factless age.“

— Sabine Manzel (source)

“Where is the non-partisan and differentiating voice of political science?”

— Daniel Hornuff (source)

“The dispute over norms and institutions [...] is as much an indicator of a crisis of norms and institutions as it is a source of their renewal. To tap into this source, however, we must seek the dispute and no longer avoid it. This is also a task for science, especially the social sciences, which have increasingly neglected it.“

— Nicole Deitelhoff (source)

“I would like to see scientists who do not cater to the market, but offer reasonable and independent guidance to an unsettled society. This enlightening and non-corruptible voice is more important than ever.“

— Ranga Yogeshwar (source)

“What is at stake here is factual reality itself, and this is, indeed, a political problem of the very first order. [...] Freedom of speech is a farce if information about the facts is not guaranteed.“

— Hannah Arendt (source)

“In public debates, professors, of all people, hardly ever speak out. [...] We need these analysts of world affairs – the sober experts as well as the daring generalists.”

— Manuel Hartung (source)

“We analyze politics, society, the economy, and culture, accompany them critically, and get involved in debates, but we do not allow ourselves to be instrumentalized and used by powerful actors and discourses.“

— Bettina Engels (source)

“What is needed now is a farewell to thinking in terms of schools and rogues in order to argue for the value of an open society and the value of empirically derived knowledge beyond the spectacularly staged paradigm struggles.“

— Bernhard Pörksen (source)

“Political science must become more involved in public debates and fight for the pluralistic society and the basic rights of the constitution by reporting about its research results and commenting on current political, economic, and social issues on the basis of its theories and insights.“

— Sabine Manzel (source)

“Under the communication prerequisites of an inclusive and coercion-free discourse among free and equal participants, everyone is required to put themselves in the perspective and thus in the self- and world-conception of all others.“

— Jürgen Habermas (source)

“In thinking, we interrupt knowledge and action and mercilessly put the prevailing doctrines, rules, and behavior to the test.“

— Christine Landfried (source)

Our goals

We will seek to reach these goals by publishing at least five new articles each week. This includes analyses, research reports, interviews, opinion pieces, and reviews of relevant new publications. Our articles will be factual, relatively short, and as comprehensible as possible.

In late 2020, you will be able to read our first contributions on www.politikon.net

We are a member of the Transparent Civil Society Initiative by Transparency International