Department of Modern History

The department focuses on processes launched in the 19th Century and continued during the 20th Century. The 19th Century is considered a period of eruption of the "modernization" and as the foundation of the "industrial world." The main topics of this period include the history of the Constitution, the advance of democracy and defeat of the history of industrialization and the associated social and cultural changes, nationalistic movements, and imperialist expansion, the story of partly new social groups and movements.

Looking at the history of the 20th Century the 19th Century loses its long-time prevailing progress complexion. Many breaks existing in the 19th Century, ambivalences and "dark sides" of modernity, the question of the contribution of the 19 Century arises for the preparation of the "break with civilization" of the 20th Century. In this perspective the first half of the 20th Century appears characterized by crises and wars, but also of breathtaking cultural awakenings, the second half was marked by democratic developments and new dictatorships, the revolution of lifestyles, from the "Cold War" and its end in 1989.

The period after 1945 is in more depth treated by the ‘Junior-Professor’ (US: assistant professor) of Modern History. The history of the old Federal Republic and the Soviet Zone / GDR is highlighted on selected examples of topics. Within this frame the history of the two German states is enshrined in several ways: Their roots in the period before 1945 are emphasized, moreover it is placed in the transnational context that is essential for understanding the history of the two German states. Finally, it is made clear how strong the German-German history was characterized through the perceptions of the other German state in each case.

Research projects focus on the German, British and Swedish social history since the end of the 19th Century. This is taken in view of a transnational perspective.