Ralf Dahrendorf

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Created a life Peer in 1993, Baron Ralf Dahrendorf of Clare Market in the City of Westminster is also the warden of St Anthony's College, Oxford since 1987. Born in Hamburg in 1921 Dahrendorf was active with his father in post-war Berlin assisting the Foreign Office to persuade the Social Democrat Party in the city to stand out against the forcible amalgamation of the Communist and the Social Democrat Party.

"...one of the leaders of that was Walter Dahrendorf who was the father of Lord Dahrendorf today, and he was so much hated by the Russians that he had to come and seek refuge in the Western sectors for fear of being kidnapped. And I arranged for him and Ralph Dahrendorf to be flown out of Berlin, down to the British zone, where I met them and saw that they went to Hamburg, which was, after all, his old home town."[1]

Dahrendorf gained some distinction as an academic Sociologist, philosopher and politician (as a member of the German Parliament). A fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences Palo Alto (1957-58) he was also on the founding committee of Konstanz University, Parliamentary Secretary of State, Foreign Office of West Germany 1969-70 becoming a director of the LSE on coming to London in 1974. His UK career in the 70s includes membership of the Hansard Society, Commission for Electoral Reform, Royal Commission on legal services, Committee to review Functioning of Financial Institutions and a trustee of the Ford Foundation.

Foundations and Think Tanks

Dahrendorf has been a policy advisor of The Social Market Foundation (SMF) alongside: Wendy Alexander, Tim Allan, Matthew d'Ancona, Simon Crine, Don Cruickshank, Evan Davis, Ed Davey, Daniel Finkelstein, Prof. Tony Giddens, Liam Halligan, Lord Haskins, Deirdre Hutton, Peter Lampl, George Osborne MP, Lord Parekh, Trevor Philips, Lord Plant, James Purnell MP, Sue Slipman, Lord Stevenson, Dr Wendy Thomson, Stephen Twigg MP, Andrew Tyrie MP, Shriti Vadera, David Willetts MP.

SMF has been run by:

The SMF at one point shared its 11 Tufton Street. address with the Adam Smith Institute. Dahrendorf argues in the SMF's 2003 - 2004 Annual Report that 'The Social Market Foundation is well placed to combine economic, social and political analysis. The three approaches are often separated, yet for policy decisions they have to be brought together. This makes the SMF uniquely relevant.' Given that the SMF line-up are familiar faces in the think tank circuit (Stevenson, d'Ancona and Haskins have ties to Demos) its difficult to percieve what is so unique about the Foundation.

Its funders include: Barclays Bank, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Boots, BP International, British Nuclear Fuels, British Property Federation, BSkyB, BUPA, Camelot Group,CBI, Centrica, Chemical Industries Association, Corporation of London, Edexcel, EDS, Electoral Commission, Energywatch, Finance & Leasing Association, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, Go-Ahead Group, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Learning & Skills Development Agency, Marks & Spencer, Mobile Operators Association, National House Building Council, National Youth Agency, Pfizer, Pharmacia Pharamaceutical Services Negotiating, Safeway Stores, J Sainsbury, Shell International, Specialist Schools Trust, Sugar Bureau, Sun Microsystems, Sutton Trus,t Thames Water Utilities, T-Mobile, UBC Media, Ufi/ Learn Direct, UPS Vauxhall Motors, Vodafone.

Corporate donations form 56.06% of its funding, Statutory Bodies and Not for Profits 40.55% and Charitable Trusts 3.39% .[2]


Dahrendorf has written for several journals including Foreign Affairs[3] on Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's promotion of the 'Third Way'. [4]

This essay was taken from a June 1999 conference in Vienna sponsored by the Institute for Human Sciences in co-operation with Project Syndicate[5] Funded by Soros' Open Society Institute, Project Syndicate — which Dahrendorf is a member of — promotes the work of high level socio-political thinkers; such as Richard Haas (President of The Council on Foreign Relations), Zbigniew Brzezinski (former US National Security Advisor), James D. Wolfensohn (former President of the World Bank Group) George Robertson (ex-NATO) and many others.[6]

It is run by Anders Ãslund (Director of the Russian and European Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Hans Bergstram (Associate Professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg, was formerly Editor-in-chief of "Dagens Nyheter," Sweden's leading newspaper), Christoph Bertram (formerly director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, currently holds the Steven Muller Chair for German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center).

In the business world he was a non-executive director of Glaxo Holdings plc from 1984-92 (fellow directors included MI5 agent Sir John Cuckney).[7] Formerly Non-executive Director, Bankgesellschaft, Berlin. He has written extensively on Marx, Class & Class conflict, Social conflict, revolution.

He is on the board of governors of the Anglo American elite think tank the Ditchley Foundation[8], and has attended Bilderberg Conference 2002, Chantilly, Virginia, nr. Washington DC. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for European Reform (also based for a time in Tufton Street).

Other affiliations

Other Reading


^ House of Lords Register of Lords Interests Lord Dahrendorf,Accessed, January 2007

  1. (Interview (16/1/96) with Lord Annan (Military Intelligence 1940-44, GSO1, Political Division of British Control Commission 1945-46 [1])
  2. Source needed
  3. [2]
  4. [3] Prospect,
  5. [4]
  6. [5]
  7. source needed
  8. [6] [7]