How divided is our society?

Debating Europe


Debating Europe

In the big election year of 2024, increasing polarization is being lamented not only in the USA, but also in Europe. Migration, coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East and debates about identity politics – advocates of different views seem to be irreconcilably opposed to each other everywhere.

Social media is intensifying this process, which could benefit right-wing parties in particular. But some experts deny that society is divided into two camps and see a diverse range of opinions that invigorates rather than endangers democracy. What does all this mean for European politics? These questions will be discussed by a high-ranking panel at the Burgtheater.


Isolde Charim – Philosopher and publicist
Jürgen Kaube – FAZ editor, responsible for the feuilleton, and co-author (with Andre Kieserling) of the book “Die gespaltene Gesellschaft” (Rowohlt 2022)
Bernhard Pörksen – Professor of Media Studies at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen
Kathrin Stainer-Hämmerle – Professor of Political Science at the Carinthia University of Applied Sciences in Villach

Moderation Eric Frey – DER STANDARD

Tickets and more information: Europa im Diskurs – Debating Europe | Burgtheater

Debating Europe – Europa im Diskurs

This series of public morning debates brings leading politicians, scientists and intellectuals on to the stage of Vienna’s Burgtheater to discuss topical issues of political and social relevance. This long-standing event is a collaborative production of  BurgtheaterERSTE Foundation, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) and Austrian daily DER STANDARD.

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Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.