Ulrich Beck (1944-2015)

BeckWe are deeply concerned to hear that German sociologist and author of the Risk Society, Ulrich Beck passed away on January 1st. The global sociology community in general and the Cosmobilities Network has lost a public intellectual, a singular free mind, constant inspiration, a challenging voice and unique political figure in science and society.


In his writings and social commitment Ulrich was fighting for cosmopolitan mobilities and a world where mobility wouldn’t be a threat but a blessing. He was fully aware of all risks and dangers for modern lives. But he never lost his optimism for a better world and another, a reflexive modernity where people meet and interact with each other instead of being xenophobic and destructive in competition.


Ulrich was very generous and supportive with Cosmobilities from the earliest days of the network. In his welcome note for the 10th anniversary conference in Copenhagen last November he wrote:


“It is a pleasure for me to see how this research network has been growing over the last ten years. I can still remember the first days of Cosmobilities and the workshop on Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective at our research centre on reflexive modernization in Munich in 2004.”


“Today, Cosmobilities has been growing from social science into a strong voice in interdisciplinary research on mobility and transport. Your work still has a significant impact on the mobilities turn in social science. Understanding cosmopolitanization and the globalization of the modern world is impossible without understanding the diverse forms and dynamics of mobilities.”


“Against this background the Cosmobilities Network has become a reflexive place and space for re-thinking the basic principles of modernity and for the future of modern societies. Congratulations for ten years of innovative scientific work! And all the best for the future.”


We are deeply concerned about his death and feel with his family and friends.
Mobility and the Cosmopolitan Perspective will live on in our network and future.


Photo by Regina Schmeken, published in Süddeutsche Zeitung 


Read Ulrich Becks 2008 text on Cosmopolitanism and Mobility:

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