Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt

Professor Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt has been Director at the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) and Professor of Political Science at the Institute for Political Science and Sociology at the University of Bonn since 1997. Professor Kühnhardt's research focuses on European integration, the global role of Europe, comparative research on regional groupings worldwide as well as on topics of political theory and philosophy.

Kühnhardt started a journalistic career which included extensive study tours through Asia and Africa. He worked for print media and radio stations and was author of several documentary films for German television. In 1977 he received the German Catholic Journalist Award. He studied history, political science and philosophy in Bonn, Geneva, Harvard and Tokyo. He received his PhD in 1983 and his “habilitation” in 1986, both times specializing in political science at the University of Bonn. Between 1985 and 1987 Kühnhardt was research assistant for Prof. Dr. Drs. h.c. Karl Dietrich Bracher at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Bonn. From 1987 to 1989 he worked as speechwriter for the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Richard von Weizsäcker.

Kühnhardt was chair for Political Science at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg between 1991 and 1997, serving as Dean of the Philosophical Faculty in 1994/95. He was Visiting Professor at prestigious universities ( Capetown, Jena, College of Europe, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, Seoul National University, St.Antony’s College Oxford, Canterbury University Christchurch, Tongji University Shanghai), lectures regularly across Europe (Graduate School of Economics and International Relations (ASERI) of the Catholic University Milan, Diplomatic Academy Vienna, Mediterranean Academic of Diplomatic Studies (MEDAC) Malta) and was a visiting research scholar in Europe and in the United States (St Antony's College Oxford, Institute for Human Science Vienna,  Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Washington D.C.) The Woodrow Wilson Center appointed him as one of its Global Fellows. In 2004 he was awarded the European Science Prize of the European Cultural Foundation.

Kühnhardt serves on several academic and consultative boards (Goerres Society, Collegium Europaeum Jenense, Institute of International Relations Warsaw, Commission for Societal and Social Questions of the German Bishops' Conference, European Studies in Asia of the Asia-Europe Foundation Singapore, West African Institute Praia, European Humanities University Vilnius).  After German unification, he has been actively involved in the German Christian Democratic Union's Program Commission. He was a member of the Europe-wide Independent Commission for the Comprehensive Review of the Institutions and Procedures of the Union (ICRI) and of the Steering Committee of the German-British Koenigswinter Conference. He advised several governments of EU candidate countries in Central and Southeastern Europe and the Bulgarian-Romanian Interuniversity Europe Centre (BRIE) in Rousse (Bulgaria). Kühnhardt is member of the editorial board of several international journals in the field of political science.

Ludger Kühnhardt was born in 1958. He is married and father of two children.



Sekretariat: Lisa-Marie Brackmann
Phone: +49-(0)228 / 73-1810
Fax: +49-(0)228 / 73-1818


Zwischen den Zeiten

Zwischen den Zeiten. Betrachtungen zu Geschichte, Fortschritt und Freiheit

Ludger Kühnhardt. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2024, Schriften des Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung, Vol. 86, 608 pages, ISBN 978-3-7560-0385-3.

The subtitle of this collection could also be ‘Reflections on transience, futility and new beginnings again and again’. One senses this attitude in some of the texts collected here. At the same time, there is also a sense of confidence throughout the texts. Even ‘between times’ and ‘between chairs’, as Ludger Kühnhardt describes his academic work, positive and constructive impetus can be given: impetus for enlightenment and in classifying the events that shape life. The articles in this anthology were created for a wide variety of reasons, but they are interrelated building blocks of Ludger Kühnhardt's struggle with Europe and globality. The articles and essays are framed by tributes which the author has dedicated to important companions and by reflections on his own efforts and their intentions. The texts are snapshots from the years 2020 to 2024, the year Kühnhardt retired as Head of the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI).

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Impulsgeber zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Publizistik. Eine Werkbiographie

Ludger Kühnhardt. Wiesbaden: Springer VS Verlag, 2023.

Ludger Kühnhardt provides lively and personal insights into the people and sources of his influence, into the paths of thought he followed, and into the impulses that his work in research and teaching has triggered over decades. A biographical workshop report of high authenticity that brings together what often seems disconnected in everyday working life. Insights that were ahead of their time are illuminated again and again from a different perspective and findings that have remained timelessly relevant are recalled.

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Politisches Denken in der EU

Das politische Denken in der Europäischen Union. Supranational und zukunftsoffen

Ludger Kühnhardt. Paderborn: Brill Fink, 2022, 229 pages.

What are the basic concepts of political thought that guides the European Union? Meanwhile, has the European Union spawned its own genre of political thought? What does this mean for the history of ideas and political philosophy? What are the consequences for the internal order and the behavior of global actors in the EU

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Bonner Enzyklopaedie der Globalitaet

Verknüpfte Welten. Notizen aus 235 Ländern und Territorien

Ludger Kühnhardt. Vol. 1: 1960-1999, Vol. 2: 2000-2020, Wiesbaden: Springer 2022

As journalist, contemporary historian and political advisor, Ludger Kühnhardt has recorded impressions, conversations and linkages in all independent states and many non-sovereign territories on all continents for over six decades. Anyone reading in these extraordinary travel notes is reconstructing the puzzle of a world that has gradually discovered itself as single entity over a period of just over half a century.

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Bonner Enzyklopaedie der Globalitaet

The Bonn Handbook of Globality

Ludger Kühnhardt / Tilman Mayer (Eds.). Cham: Springer International, 2019

In the context of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Bonn University, more than one-hundred of its professors provide innovative interpretations of key concepts of social sciences and humanities in the age of globality.

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In addition to numerous scholarly articles, book reviews and media contributions, Professor Kühnhardt is author of the following books:

36. Zwischen den Zeiten. Betrachtungen zu Geschichte, Fortschritt und Freiheit, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2024.

35. Impulsgeber zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Publizistik. Eine Werkbiographie. Vol. 1, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2023.

34. Europas Sicherheit, die Zukunft der Ukraine und die "russische Frage", Bonn 2022.

33. Das politische Denken der Europäischen Union. Supranational und zukunftsoffen, Paderborn: Brill Fink, 2022, 229 pages.

32. Verknüpfte Welten (Vol I: 1960-1999; Vol II: 2000-2020), Wiesbaden 2022.

31. Karl Dietrich Bracher (1922-2016). Aus der Geschichte lernen, Bonn 2022.

30. The post-corona world. A research agenda, Bonn 2021.

29. Richard von Weizsäcker (1920-2015). Momentaufnahmen und Denkwege eines europäischen Staatsmannes, Bonn 2020.

28. Identität und Weltfähigkeit. Sichtweisen aus einem unruhigen Europa, Baden‐Baden: Nomos, 2020

27. The Global Society and Its Enemies: Liberal Order beyond the Third World War, Cham: Springer, 2017.

26. Africa Consensus: New Interests, Initiatives and Partners, Washington D.C./Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Press/Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014.

25. Europa: Innere Verfassung und Wende zur Welt. Standortbestimmung der Europäischen Union, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2010.

24. Region-Building, Vol. I: The Global Proliferation of Regional Integration, Oxford / New York: Berghahn, 2010.

23. European Union - The Second Founding. The Changing Rationale of European Integration, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2008 (2. extended edition 2010).

22. Erweiterung und Vertiefung. Die Europäische Union im Neubeginn, Baden-Baden: Nomos 2005.

21. Constituting Europe. Identity, Institution-Building And The Search For A Global Role, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2003.

20. Contrasting Transatlantic Interpretations. The EU and the US Towards a Common Global Role, Stockholm: SIEPS, 2003.

19. Atlantik-Brücke. Fünfzig Jahre deutsch-amerikanische Partnerschaft, Berlin: Ullstein, 2002.

18. Die Europäische Union – Fragen zur Erweiterung, Berlin: Auswärtiges Amt, 2001 (3. edition 2003).

17. Von Deutschland nach Europa. Geistiger Zusammenhalt und außenpolitischer Kontext, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2000.

16. Zukunftsdenker. Bewährte Ideen politischer Ordnung für das dritte Jahrtausend, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1999.

15. Beyond divisions and after. Essays on democracy, the Germans and Europe, Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang, 1996.

14. Von der ewigen Suche nach Frieden. Immanuel Kants Vision und Europas Wirklichkeit, Bonn: Bouvier, 1996.

13. Mitten im Umbruch. Historisch-politische Annäherungen an Zeitfragen, Bonn: Bouvier, 1995.

12. Jeder für sich und alle gegen alle. Zustand und Zukunft des Gemeinsinns, Freiburg: Herder, 1994.

11. Revolutionszeiten. Das Umbruchjahr 1989 im geschichtlichen Zusammenhang, München: Olzog, 1994 (Turkish edition 2002)

10. Ideals and Interests in Recent German Foreign Policy, Washington D.C.: German Historical Institute, 1993.

9. Europäische Union und föderale Idee. Europapolitik in der Umbruchzeit, München: C.H.Beck, 1993.

8. Stufen der Souveränität. Staatsverständnis und Selbstbestimmung in der „Dritten Welt“, Bonn-Berlin: Bouvier, 1992.

7. Wege in die Demokratie. Beiträge aus der Politischen Wissenschaft, Jena/Erlangen: Jenaer Universitätsverlag, 1992.

6. Die Universalität der Menschenrechte. Studie zur ideengeschichtlichen Bestimmung eines politischen Schlüsselbegriffs, München: Olzog, 1987.

5. Die Flüchtlingsfrage als Weltordnungsproblem. Massenzwangswanderungen in Geschichte und Politik, Wien: Braumüller, 1984.

4. The land of 500.000 villages, Trichur (Indien): JS Press, 1982.

3. Kinder des Wohlstands. Auf der Suche nach dem verlorenen Sinn, München: Olzog, 1981.

2. Die deutschen Parteien und die Entwicklungspolitik, Hannover: Niedersächsische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, 1980.

1. Christliche Soziallehre konkret, München: Olzog, 1977.

18. (with Christian Koenig), Governance and Regulation in the European Union: A Reader, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2017.

17. (with Tilman Mayer), Bonner Enzyklopädie der Globalität, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2017.

16. (with Christian Koenig), Forschung, Lehre und Beratung für Europa - ZEI 1995 – 2015, Bonn: ZEI, 2015.

15. Region-Building, Vol. II: Regional Integration in the World: Documents, Oxford / New York: Berghahn, 2010.

14. The Reunification of Europe. Anti-Totalitarian Courage and Political Renewal, Brüssel: European Parliament, 2009 (Polish, Czech, Romanian, Slovenian, French, German translations 2009).

13. Crises in European Integration. Challenges and Responses, 1945-2005, Oxford / New York: Berghahn, 2009 (paperback 2011).

12. (with Michael Gehler, Günther Bischof und Rolf Steininger), Towards a European Constitution. A Historical and Political Comparison with the United States, Wien / Köln / Weimar: Böhlau, 2005.

11. (with Marcus Höreth and Cordula Janowski), Die Europäische Verfassung. Analyse und Bewertung ihrer Strukturentscheidungen, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2005.

10. (with Mamoru Takayama) Menschenrechte, Kulturen und Gewalt. Ansätze einer interkulturellen Ethik, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2005.

9. (with Hüseyin Bagci und Jackson Janes) Parameters of Partnership: Turkey, Europe and the United States, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1999.

8. (with Michael Rutz) Die Wiederentdeckung Europas. Ein Gang durch Geschichte und Gegenwart. Stuttgart: DVA, 1999.

7. (with Alexander Tschubarjan) Rußland und Deutschland auf dem Weg zum antitotalitären Konsens, Baden-Baden: Nomos, 1999 (Russian translation 2000).

6. (with Dario Valcárcel) Spanien und Deutschland als EU-Partner, Baden-Baden: Nomos 1999 (Spanish translation 2000).

5. (with Hans-Gert Pöttering) Kontinent Europa. Kern, Übergänge, Grenzen, Zürich: Fromm , 1998 (Czech translation 2000).

4. (with Gerd Leutenecker, Martin Rupps und Frank Waltmann) Die doppelte deutsche Diktaturerfahrung. Drittes Reich und DDR - ein historisch-politikwissenschaftlicher Vergleich, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1994 (second edition 1996).

3. (with Hans-Gert Pöttering) Weltpartner Europäische Union, Zürich: Fromm, 1994.

2. (with Hans-Peter Schwarz) Zwölf Nachbarn - ein Europa. Deutschland und die europäische Zukunft aus der Sicht der Diplomaten umliegender Länder, Bonn-Berlin: Bouvier, 1991.

1. (with Hans-Gert Pöttering) Europas vereinigte Staaten. Annäherungen an Werte und Ziele, Zürich: Fromm, 1991.

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