Dr Marius Strubenhoff

BA (Hons), MSc

Department of History

Honorary Research Associate


I am a political and intellectual historian of democracy, focusing on twentieth-century Europe (Germany in particular) and the United States.

I am particularly interested in conceptions of the preconditions of democracy, assumptions about the nature of modern societies and political conflict, and constitutional debates about how to safeguard democracy in crisis situations.

In my PhD, I examined the first two issues in the case of Ralf Dahrendorf (1929-2009), a German-British sociologist and politician.

I also take a close interest in the history of the social sciences and humanities in the twentieth century.

I am now working on a book called Ralf Dahrendorf's Question: Thinking the Preconditions of Democracy during the Cold War that integrates these two concerns.

Research interests

My academic interests concentrate on twentieth-century German history and political thought in transnational perspective. Thematically, I am closely concerned with ideas about the preconditions of democracy and social scientific assumptions about the nature of modern societies and political conflict. In my PhD, I examined this in the case of Ralf Dahrendorf (1929-2009), a German-British sociologist and politician. I am particularly fascinated by the social sciences of the post-war period until the 1960s, as well as the methodological reactions against them during the 1970s and 1980s, broadly circling around the phenomenon known as the ‘cultural turn’.

My new research project studies the history of antisemitic and antijudaic ideas in the German social sciences from Werner Sombart and Max Weber to the Nazi era, and examines the re-deployment of concepts and prejudices stemming from this context by American social scientists in debates about race relations in the United States between the late 1920s and the 1960s.

Teaching activities

Teaching activities 2019-20:


  • HST117 - The Making of the Twentieth Century
  • HST202- Historians and History
  • HST386/387 - The Holocaust: The Destruction of European Jewry
  • HST3000 - The Uses of History


  • HST681 - Work Placement
  • HST6603 - Modernity and Power: Individuals and the State in the Modern World
  • Harshan Kumarasingham and Marius Strubenhoff, ‘Liberty and the Rule of Law’, in Gary Gerstle and Eugenio Biagini (eds.), A Cultural History of Democracy in the Modern Age (London: Bloomsbury, 2021) (forthcoming)
  • Marius Strubenhoff, ‘The Positivism Dispute in German Sociology, 1954-1970’, History of European Ideas 44 (2018)
  • Marius Strubenhoff, ‘Materialist Method, Agonistic Liberalism: Revisiting Ralf Dahrendorf’s Political Thought’, History of Political Thought 39 (2018)

Public engagement

  • Marius Strubenhoff, “Germany and Democracy in Poland”, In the Long Run, Aug’19.
  • Marius Strubenhoff, “Brexit: The View from Germany”, E-International Relations, May’17.