Ulrike Guérot after the NDR invited the jury – “He who throws mud has a problem”


Political scientist Ulrike Guérot is professor of European politics and co-director of the Ernst Robert Curtius Center at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. Her research focuses on the future of the European integration process. In public discussions about the Corona and the war in Ukraine, she is constantly offended.

However, in 2022 September 14 NDR is proud to announce that political scientist Ulrike Guérot will be a member of the jury for this year’s acclaimed NDR Non-Fiction Prize. Only a day later he withdrew her nomination – apparently after protests. Guérot “clearly distanced himself in public statements from the values ​​of the scientific community and the GDR non-fiction prize”. Therefore, she cannot serve on the jury.

Madame Guérot, how it really came about Your nomination to the jury GDR Non-Fiction Prize?

I didn’t apply for it, but NDR asked to participate on behalf of program director Katja Marx. It was in 2022. July. I was happy and agreed. Although I don’t really suffer from boredom.

Has it become apparent over time that there may be problems?

Well, it’s really out of the question. After my commitment, I got some pretty cheeky reactions from NDR. But there was no talk of a short-term discharge. No explanation, no discussion, absolutely nothing. The employee just informed me by e-mail that my cooperation will be terminated. The published justification was that I distanced myself “from the values ​​of the scientific community.”

But your colleague Markus Linden is ahead of you DOES allegations of plagiarism and Patrick Bahners recently defended their removal from the jury by saying that they apparently “Truth and truth” issues had This may explain the behavior.

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However, this justification was added only a few days later. Suspicions of plagiarism have so far been nothing more than newspaper allegations, which have yet to be substantiated by an independent commission. It also applies to me: In case of doubt – to the accused. These allegations, in turn, were already known at the time of the NDR request. Now if this is supposed to be the reason why NDR invited me to the jury in the first place? Did he not investigate it or was it an accident?

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That’s why I don’t believe it. Rather, I suspect that after the names of the jury members were released, interest groups or other jury members put pressure on the NDR. And the GDR simply bowed to this pressure. By the way, an interesting thing: if public broadcasting, by the way, no longer defends its independence, in which country is the fourth estate?

But about the “accusation of plagiarism”: I do not deny that I did not work carefully enough in some places in a non-scientific book six years ago. But I always gave my sources, I just didn’t mark every passage I took as an exact quote. After noticing the mistakes, I personally apologized to the main authors involved, back in 2016. So much truth. In my last book, I only needed to add four quotation marks. Does all this justify a smear campaign? Let him who is without fault cast the first stone.

Do you engage with your academic critics on this issue?

You can’t say it like that. I wrote about ten emails. letters to Markus Linden, Patrick Bahners and Armin Nassehi, his worst critic. My question was something like this: do we not even want to discuss all the allegations? Quoting from the answers would not be permitted at this time. So that’s it: one person refused, citing that he didn’t want to “glam up” me with a conversation.

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This is amazing to me for two reasons. First, it was a recognition that it was not about the matter at all, but about the sovereignty of interpretation and public stigmatization. And second: Who is actually claiming to “elevate” someone else? So the argument seems to be lacking. In this regard, I can only say succinctly: the one who throws mud has his own problems. But at the end of the day, I believe in balancing justice…

Yours a rather successful Corona book we are talking about the “model democracy” we supposedly lived in. They even warn…

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