Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kocka

Porträt J Kocka
Holger Wegemann


juergen.kocka [at]
Barbara Schlüter
phone: -221
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
E 424

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Barbara Schlüter

Jürgen Kocka, Dr. phil., Dr. h.c. mult., M.A.

Jürgen Kocka is a historian of modern Germany and Europe. He is particularly interested in comparative approaches, social history and the cooperation between history and the social sciences. His publications include: Unternehmensverwaltung und Angestelltenschaft am Beispiel Siemens 1847-1914 (1969); Facing Total War. German Society 1914-1918 (1984); White Collar Workers in America 1890-1940 (1980); Les employés en Allemagne 1850-1980 (1989); Arbeitsverhältnisse und Arbeiterexistenzen. Grundlagen der Klassenbildung im 19. Jahrhundert (1990); Vereinigungskrise: Zur Geschichte der Gegenwart (1995); Industrial Culture and Bourgeois Society. Business, Labor, and Bureaucracy in Modern Germany (1999); Das lange 19. Jahrhundert (2001); Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern Germany (2010); Arbeiten an der Geschichte. Gesellschaftlicher Wandel im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (2011); Arbeiterleben und Arbeiterkultur. Die Entstehung einer sozialen Klasse (2015); Capitalism. A Short History (2016); Historians and the Future (2020).

He was born in Haindorf/Bohemia (now Hejnice, Czech Republic) in 1941. He is married to Urte Kocka, neé Schild. He received his M. A. in Political Science from UNC, Chapel Hill in 1965, his PhD (Dr. phil.) from Free University of Berlin in 1968, and his Habilitation in Modern History from the University of Münster in 1972.

From 1973 to 1988 he taught Social History at the University of Bielefeld, and from 1988-2009 History of the Industrial World at the Free University of Berlin. 1983-88 he was Director at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research Bielefeld; 1992-96 director of the newly founded research institution which has become the Potsdam Centre of Contemporary History;  1991-2000 Permanent Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) Berlin; 2001-2007 President of the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB). He was one of the directors of the Berlin School of the Comparative History of Europe (Free University and Humboldt University Berlin) which he has helped to found in the 1990s. 2000-2005 he was President of the International Committee of Historical Sciences (CISH) and 2008-2011 Vice-President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

From 2009 to 2021 he was a Permanent Fellow of the International Research Centre “Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History” at the Humboldt University Berlin and Senior Fellow of the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam.

He has held guest professorships and research positions at/in: Harvard (1969/70), the Institute for Advanced Study Princeton (1975/76), University of Chicago (1984), Hebrew University Jerusalem (1985), New School of Social Research New York (1990), Central European University Budapest (1992, 1993), Centre for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Stanford (1994/95), EHESS Paris (1996), NIAS Wassenaar (2000), St Antony’s College Oxford (2004/05) and UCLA (annual visiting appointments 2009-2014).

He has received Honorary Degrees from Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Uppsala, the Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, the European University Institute Florence and the Russian State University for the Humanities Moscow. He has received the Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Historians’ Prize of the City of Bochum and the Norwegian Holberg Prize. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina, the Academia Europaea, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Torino Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Korea and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts. He is Honorary Fellow of St Antony’s College Oxford. He has received the Distinguished Service Medal First Class of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Selected Publications

32  Monographs, 66 edited books and ohter publications, 412 Articles in journals and anthologies

Kampf um die Moderne. Das lange 19. Jahrhundert in Deutschland, 2021 and 2022.

Historians and the Future, 2020.

"Telework Between Market and Family". In: Andreas Eckert/Felicitas Hentschke (Hg.): Corona and Work Around the Globe. Work in Global and Historical Perspective, Bd. 11. Berlin u.a.: Walter de Gruyter, 2020, pp. 219-224.

Histoire du capitalisme. Genève: Éditions Markus Haller, 2017

Capitalism. A Short History, 2016 (dt.: Geschichte des Kapitalismus, 2013, 3.ed. 2017).

Arbeiterleben und Arbeiterkultur. Die Entstehung einer sozialen Klasse, 2015.

Arbeiten an der Geschichte. Gesellschaftlicher Wandel im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, 2011.

Civil Society and Dictatorship in Modern German History, 2010.

Industrial Culture & Bourgeois Society. Business, Labor, and Bureaucracy in Modern Germany, 1999.

Die Angestellten in der deutschen Geschichte 1850-1980. Vom Privatbeamten zum angestellten Arbeitnehmer, 1981 (French: 1989).

Sozialgeschichte: Begriff, Entwicklung, Probleme, 1977, 2. ed. 1986.

Unternehmer in der deutschen Industrialisierung, 1975 (English: 1978).

Klassengesellschaft im Krieg. Deutsche Sozialgeschichte 1914-1918, 1973, 2. ed. 1978 (English: 1984).

Unternehmensverwaltung und Angestelltenschaft am Beispiel Siemens 1847-1914, 1969.

(Ed.), Bürgertum im 19. Jahrhundert. Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich, 1988 (partial translations: Italian 1989, English 1993, French 1996, Spanish 2000, Japanese 2000, Turkish 2015).

Lehrmeisterin des Lebens? Geschichtswissenschaft als politische Kraft, in: INDES. Zeitschrift für Politik und Gesellschaft 2020/3, pp. 67-76.

Telework between Market and Family: the COVID-19 Crisis as an Accelerator of Social Change, in: Andreas Eckert/Felicitas Hentschke (eds.), Corona and Work Around the Globe, 2020, pp. 219-224.

Fazit. Engels in seiner Zeit, in: Eberhard Illner et al. (Ed.), Friedrich Engels. Das rot-schwarze Chamäleon, 2020, pp. 383-388.

Karl Marx und die Geschichte des Kapitalismus heute, in: Martin Endreß/Christian Jansen (Ed.), 2020, pp. 323-341 (English version in: Bulletin of the German Historical Institute Washington, Fall 2018, pp. 7-18).

Kapitalismus und Demokratie (with Wolfgang Merkel), in: Wolfgang Merkel (Ed.), Demokratie und Krise, 2015, pp. 307-337.

History and the Social Sciences Today, in: Hans Joas /Barbro Klein (Ed.), The Benefit of Broad Horizons, Leiden 2010, pp. 53-67.

Civil Society in Historical Perspective, in: John Keane (Ed.), Civil Society. Berlin Perspectives, 2006, pp. 37-50.