All are welcome to attend. Please register by Monday 2 March 2020 to secure your seat.

About the lecture

Amidst currents of anti-Western ideology in its various forms the concept of liberal democracy is under attack. In this way, Germany’s current challenges - as the era of stability is over - should not be seen as an exception, but symptomatic of broader global developments and challenges. Widening transatlantic rifts and a NATO under threat lead to the question of whether one can still speak of such a thing as ‘the West’ – a concern which also extends to the future of the EU as a values project, with Brexit constituting a symbol of wider political paralysis.

Analysing these trends demonstrates that liberal democracy is under pressure, also since globalisation and technological changes (digitalisation) have not only brought increased connectivity and prosperity but also caused geostrategic rifts internationally and tensions within societies. As a consequence, re-nationalisation and protectionism are altering domestic and international political landscapes, causing growing polarisation and resulting in a world order distinctly different from the 20th century.  Against the backdrop of these systemic challenges to existing values and orders, anti-Establishment political parties whose agenda it is to ‘bring down’ the existing system can flourish.

On the global level, this translates into a waning faith in multilateralism and international institutions. Rather than a ‘rising tide that lifts all boats’, globalisation has come to mean for many people a rising systematic inequality, where ‘the few’ get it all while ‘the many’ miss out on its benefits. Instead of the positive aspects of increased connectivity and fewer borders, citizens are disillusioned by what is perceived as the inefficiency of political decision-making processes and often inability of political decision-makers to tackle the most pressing challenges adequately. Leadership and responsibility and a common approach to global challenges among like-minded are needed.

About the presenter

Dr Klaus Schüler, former State Secretary, (born 1957 in Cologne) is one of Germany’s most experienced and successful party managers, political strategists and election campaign experts. His career spans over more than three decades of service in state and federal politics, during which he gained experience in government activities as well as in party management, political communication and campaign strategy.

For more than 12 years (2007 – 2019), Schüler served as Federal Managing Director of the CDU in Germany, the country’s biggest and most successful political party. As Chancellor Angela Merkel's campaign manager he planned, organized and steered the general election campaigns of the CDU for the Bundestag in 2009, 2013 and 2017, from each of which the CDU and the Chancellor emerged victorious. 

In her farewell speech as party chair, Angela Merkel thanked him for 20 years of loyal service, trustful and successful cooperation and called him “an institution”. His role and his merits were also widely recognized and highlighted by the media. The daily newspaper ‘Die Welt‘ named him the ‘mastermind of the Merkel machine‘. Germany's biggest daily newspaper ‘Bild‘ called him ‘the Chancellor’s best campaign strategist‘.

For 10 years Schüler was the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Elections and Campaigns of the International Democrat Union, the worldwide organization of centre-right parties, and advised member parties of the IDU in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia on political strategy, communication, organization and modern campaign management. The IDU president, Canada’s former PM Stephen Harper, called him “one of the most successful campaign managers of our time”. 

In recognition of his outstanding achievements as campaign manager and strategist, Schüler was appointed to the ‘Global Dream Team‘ and honored with the ‘Aristotle Excellence Award‘ in the U.S.

Since July 2019 Schüler is the Board of Management’s Representative for National and International Political Relations of LANXESS AG, a leading specialty chemicals company.  

In 2019 he was appointed as a member of Board of Trustees of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation. 

Event details

Date: Tuesday 3 March 2020

Time: 9.45am for a 10am start. Dr Schüler will present from 10–10.45am, followed by a Q&A session from 10.45–11.15am.

Location: Room 212, Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14), The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. View map and parking information



This event is presented by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the German Honorary Consulate in Brisbane, in collaboration with The University of Queensland's School of Political Science and International Studies

Banner image credit: © REUTERS/Dylan Martinez


Sir Llew Edwards Building (#14)
The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus