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Swiss sociologist and artist Urs Jaeggi dies

Urs Jaeggi in 2016 Keystone / Sophia Kembowski

Swiss sociologist and artist Urs Jaeggi died in Berlin on Saturday at the age of 89, his family announced on Monday.

This content was published on February 15, 2021 - 18:01
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With his book Macht und Herrschaft in der BRD (Power and Rule in West Germany), which sold more than 400,000 copies, Jaeggi was considered one of the most important thinkers of the student movement of the 1960s.

Born in 1931 in Solothurn, northern Switzerland, Jaeggi studied history of art, economics and sociology in Geneva, Berlin and Bern. After his postdoctoral qualification in Bern, he went to the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany and later to the New School for Social Research in New York. From 1972 to 1993 he was a professor at the Institute for Sociology at the Free University of Berlin.

In addition to his academic work, Jaeggi, who divided his time between Berlin and Mexico City, also wrote novels, short stories and essays. In 1981 he was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, one of the most important awards for German-language literature. He also took part in solo and group exhibitions as a painter and sculptor.

“It was sometimes a bit of a windy road, but I fulfilled all my dreams,” he told the German news agency DPA on his 85th birthday. “I couldn’t care less if people said: ‘Does he now have to do that as well?’”

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