Das farbenreiche Mosaik: Vorwort
The chapter summarizes the contributions featured in the overall collection.
We suggest to use Internet car sale price advertisements for measuring economic inequality between and within German regions. Our estimates of regional income levels and Gini indices based on advertisements are highly, positively correlated with the official figures. This implies that the observed car prices can serve as a reasonably good proxy for income levels. In contrast to the traditional measures, our data can be fast and inexpensively retrieved from the web, and more importantly allow to estimate Gini indices at the NUTS2 level-something that never has been done before. Our approach to measuring regional inequality is a useful alternative source of information that could complement officially available measures.
The article briefly discusses the effects on German educational policy from participating in and receiving unexpectedly low results in international PISA testing. Th e effects are characterized on two sides. On the one hand, the educational reforms undertaken are described. On the other hand, the changes in the ideology of education under the influence of PISA are considered.
The main idea of the article written in the genre of the philosophical satire is the search for an answer to the question of the possibility of theories in an age of a triumph of empiricism and positivism. Reflecting on the problems of education in the modern world, the author refers to the recently published book of Richard Pohl «Plato as a teacher. Plato’s Renaissance and Antimodernism in Germany (1890–1933)». The book tells how, while solving the tasks of a nation building and the transformation of Germany into the intellectual and cultural center of all mankind, the state educational machine of the German Empire used Plato and his doctrine of «eternal forms» for the needs of education. In addition, the book analyzes a very noteworthy phenomenon of «German neo-Platonism», which arose in the late XIX – early XX century and represented by a variety of schools – from the neo-Kantians to the circle of Stefan Gheorghe, each of which had its own concept of Plato. The author notes that Plato’s philosophy is also actualized in the modern times. But does this mean that Plato can become a «staple» for culture and a symbol of education in the current conditions? And is it possible today to restore the authentic image of Plato, or does each era re-imagines the philosopher in its own way?
The chapter summarizes the subsequent articles and gives an introduction into the topic.
Germany is a diverse country, a fact that offers opportunities for future development in a globalized world, but also poses challenges for the social coexistence of people. The majority of Germans tend to regard increasing diversity as an asset rather than a danger, and the acceptance of social diversity in Germany is well developed. At the same time, acceptance of diversity varies widely depending on the region and the dimension of diversity. While acceptance of people with disabilities or another sexual orientation than one’s own is high, religious diversity is far less accepted. These are the findings of a representative study, “Cohesion in Diversity: Diversity Barometer 2019 of Robert Bosch Stiftung,” for which 3,025 German residents aged 16 and older were interviewed by telephone about their opinions and attitudes toward various social groups. Where and with regard to whom are people especially accepting of diversity? According to the overall diversity index, which is based on a scale from 0 to 100, the mean value for the acceptance of diversity in Germany currently stands at 68 points, clearly in the positive range. At the same time, there is a noticeable west-east and north-south divide: The top five ranks are occupied by Hamburg (72 points), Schleswig-Holstein (71 points), Bremen (71 points), Berlin (71 points), and Lower Saxony (70 points), in other words, the three city-states and two large states in northern Germany. Next come the other states in what used to be West Germany. Bringing up the rear are the former East German states (excluding Berlin), with scores between 65 and 61 points. In addition to regional differences, there are sometimes significant differences in the acceptance of individual dimensions of diversity. In Germany, acceptance of people with disabilities (83 points) and non-heterosexual orientation (77 points), for instance, but also of people with a different ethnic background (73 points) is high. A majority are still open to people of a different age (70 points), a different sex (69 points), and low socio-economic standing (58 points). Skepticism seems to be predominant solely with regard to religion and religious diversity (44 points). However, the findings suggest that, despite the current media focus, this result is not a rejection of “Muslims” alone; the low approval rating tends to indicate a general reservation against religious lifestyles and traditions. When it comes to factors that can positively impact approval of a pluralistic society, individual and personal aspects are particularly important; these include empathy, (a rather left) political leanings orientation, and a positive attitude toward globalization. Structural factors (economic strength, unemployment rate, etc.) in people’s home region are of secondary importance, although regions with higher income disparities also show greater acceptance of diversity. This finding suggests that the existence of a certain level of diversity is a basic prerequisite for having to learn and practice a constructive way of dealing with diversity in the first place.
The edited book contains selected articles that were presented at the conference "Welt and Wissenschaft" at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow 2018, April 19.
The chapter analyzes textbooks by Valentin Ickelsamer, Peter Jordan, Jacob Grüßbeutel, John Amos Comenius and other German-language authors.
The article considers economic cooperation of Russian and German regions. Some examples of such cooperation are analyzed and a number of reasons impeding its development is stated. Based on the analysis, the author marks out the fields of cooperation, which should be accentuated in further development.