Prof. Dr. Hedwig Richter

has been Professor of Modern History at the Department of Social Sciences and Public Affairs since 1 January 2020.

Prof. Dr. Hedwig Richter

In her research, Prof. Richter is concerned with the history of Europe and North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on democracy (why were elections in the USA so violent, what role do revolutions play in democratization?), migration (what are the motives for migration? Why do some governments urge their citizens to migrate, why do they ban some, why are some completely indifferent?), with gender (why was democratization so closely linked to masculinity in the 19th century?) and with religion (what significance did church election procedures and ecclesiastical voting rights have for politics? How were churches organized during state socialism in the GDR?).

After studying history, German literature and philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, Queen's University Belfast and the Free University Berlin, as well as the First and Second State Examination, Prof. Richter received her doctorate from the University of Cologne in 2009. This was followed by academic stays in Washington D.C. and Prague, among other places, and activities at the University of Bielefeld and the University of Greifswald. There she was habilitated in 2016 in the field of modern and contemporary history. Most recently she worked at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research.

Hedwig Richter received the Offermann-Hergarten Prize of the University of Cologne for her dissertation. Her habilitation was awarded the Democracy Prize of the Democracy Foundation of the University of Cologne.

In addition to her academic work, Prof. Richter writes for the FAZ and the Süddeutsche Zeitung, among others.


Department of Social Sciences and Public Affairs