18th Karlsruhe Dialogues – Speakers

Prof. Dr. Edda Müller 

Prof. Dr. Edda Müller

Prof. Dr. Edda Müller studied modern history and political science at the University of Munich, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the École Nationale d’Administration in Paris. She received a doctorate in public administration and is honorary professor of political science at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer. Müller has been chairperson of Transparency International Germany since July 2010. Earlier positions include: president of the German consumer advice centre; deputy director of the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen; head of the department of climate policy of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy; and minister for nature and environment of the State of Schleswig-Holstein. Further stations of Müller’s administrative career are, among others, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; the Federal Environmental Agency; the planning division of the Office of the Federal Chancellor; and the constitutional department of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Müller has published numerous papers on environmental, climate, and consumer policy, as well as the political balance of interests in modern democracies.



1. Does the world market society promote or obstruct the achievement of global humanitarian living conditions?
The global trade regulations agreed on under the WTO impede humanitarian living conditions by safeguarding against the transparency of the social and ecological manufacturing conditions of goods.


2. How much privacy do we have left between government surveillance and commercial data collection, and what is that privacy worth to us?
Today the danger that ‘Big Data’ poses to normal citizens is more through the data that the economic and financial sectors collect for marketing purposes and for the drawing up of risk profiles than through the misuse of private data for government purposes. Citizens, especially in their capacity as consumers, should learn how to actively protect their privacy.


3. Has the world market society led to new forms of human trafficking, or does it instead represent an opportunity to implement international standards for decent and humane labour conditions?
Workers, trade unions, and civil society forces in the affected countries must fight for the creation of decent and humane labour conditions – similarly to in the early days of capitalism in the old industrialised states. Creating these conditions is, in this respect, part of a process of democratisation. Responsible consumers can and must help in this. However, reforming the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and more transparency with regard to the ‘inner values’ of goods and services are necessary for this.