Biography

I am a historian, writer and academic, specializing in modern European history, particularly the history of memory, violence, radicalism, and political extremism.

Since 2010, I have been Professor of Modern History at University College Dublin and Director of the Centre for War Studies.

I am the author of several critically acclaimed and award-winning books, including The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End (2016), Hitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich (2011), and The Bismarck Myth: Weimar Germany and the Legacy of the Iron Chancellor (2005). My most recent monograph is November 1918: The German Revolution (2020).

As an academic, I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses covering nineteenth and twentieth-century European and German history at Oxford, Sciences Po Paris, and University College Dublin. I am also the co-director (with Sönke Neitzel) of the MA in International War Studies, a two year Dual Degree programme in which students spend one year in Potsdam and a second year in Dublin.


Born on 12 February 1976 in Berlin, Germany

Full Professor of Modern History, University College Dublin
Director, UCD Centre for War Studies
PI, ERC Advanced Grant CivilWars



University degrees and positions

2010 –Chair of Modern History, UCD
2007 –Founding Director UCD Centre for War Studies
2017 – 20Head of the School of History, UCD
2014 – 17Vice-Principal for Global Engagement, College of Arts and Humanities, UCD
2004 – 07British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
2002 – 04Departmental Lecturer in Modern History, Balliol College / History Faculty, Oxford
2000 – 03Doctor of Philosophy (Modern History), University of Oxford
1996 – 00Magister Artium, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin


Visiting Professorships & Fellowships

2021 – 22Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship, Oxford University
2020 – 21Alexander von Humboldt Visiting Professorship, Universität Potsdam
2015 – 16Alfred Grosser Chair (Visiting Professorship); Sciences Po, Paris
2014Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellow; EUI, Florenz
2013Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Fellow; Herder Institut, Marburg
2011 – 12Member; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
2008Visiting Fellow; Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung, Bielefeld
2007Visiting Fellow; Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
2005Visiting Fellow; NIOD (Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies), Amsterdam


Awards and Honours

2022Irish Research Council “Researcher of the Year 2022” Award
2020UCD Teaching Excellence Award
2020Reimar Lüst Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
2018Premio Cherasco Storia for The Vanquished
2017Tomlinson Prize, World War I History Association, for The Vanquished
2015 –Elected Member, Academia Europaea
2012 –Elected Member, Royal Irish Academy
2012 – 15Elected Member, Young Academy of Europe
2005 –Elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
2004Fraenkel Prize, Wiener Library for The Bismarck Myth


Administrative Experience / Commissions of Trust

2021 –Chair of the Management Board, UCD Press
2019 –General Editor, CUP Elements in “The History of Modern Wars”
2019 –General Editor (with Jay Winter), CUP “Social and Cultural History of War” series
2019Jury Member, Cundill History Prize
2019Selection panel member, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
2017 – 20University Faculty Promotions Committee, UCD
2016 – 20Panel member, European Research Council Starting Grants (SH6)
2016 – 18Academic advisory board, “European Network Remembrance and Solidarity”
2016 – 17Member of historical advisory board, Musee de l’Armee, Paris
2014 – 17Chair of the selection panel, German History Essay Prize (awarded by the IHR London
and the German History Society of the UK and Ireland)
2014 – 17Board Member, German History Society of the UK and Ireland
2012 – 24General Editor, OUP monograph series The Greater War
2014 – 22Editorial Board Member, Journal of Modern European History
2014 – 18Editorial Board Member, Contemporary European History
2012 – 15Professorial Promotions Committee, UCD College of Arts and Humanities
2011 – 14Royal Irish Academy, Membership Committee
2010 – 11University Seed Funding Committee, UCD
2010 – 14Director of Graduate Studies, UCD School of History
2010 – 13Juror, National Undergraduate Awards, Ireland (RoI & Northern Ireland)


Funding ID (selection)

2022 – 27European Research Council Advanced Grant “CivilWars”
2018 – 20PI, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship
2015 – 18Co-PI, Gerda-Henkel-Foundation, ‘The Waffen-SS: a Transnational History’
2012 – 14PI; Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship
2011 – 12Irish Research Council Senior Research Award
2009 – 14European Research Council Starting Grant “The Limits of Demobilization”
2009UCD Major Strategic Investment Grant
2008 – 10Irish Research Council Major Research Grant, with John Horne as co-PI
2006 –08Guggenheim Foundation Research Grant
2004 – 07British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
2004 – 07Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), Corpus Christi College, Oxford
2002 – 03Bryce Research Scholarship in Modern History, Oxford University
2001 – 02Doctoral Fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
2000 – 01Doctoral Fellowship, Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation


International Conferences Organised

2023“Transnational Mobilities in an Age of Civil Wars”, ERC conference, Dublin 13 March 2023
2022“Humanitarianism in an Age of Civil Wars: Europe, 1917-1949”, ERC workshop, Dublin, 9 September 2022
2021“Civil Wars in History, c. 1500-2000”, International Conference held at UCD, co-organized with the Society for the History of War (10/11 September 2021)
2017Leverhulme-funded conference “Transnational Resistance Networks in World War II” (Dublin, April 2017, co-organized with Robert Gildea)
2014 – 15“Himmler’s European Militia: A transnational history of the SS” (Torun, May 2014 and Jena, December 2015). Co-organized with Jochen Boehler.
2013“Global Perspectives on the Great War”; conference series organized with, and held at, the Universities of Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo (August 2013)
2012“The Greater War: Imperial Mobilization, Demobilization, and Unrest in the Era of the First World War” (Dublin, May 2012)
2010“Paramilitary Violence after the Great War” (Dublin, May 2010, co-organized with John Horne)
2008“Hero Cults in Modern Europe: Comparative Perspectives”, Birkbeck College, London (June 2008, co-organised with Lucy Riall)
2007“Political Violence in Twentieth-Century Europe” (NIOD, Amsterdam, June 2007, co-organised with Peter Romijn)
2007“Constitutions in Modern Europe: Civility and Violent Collapse” (Oxford, March 2007, co-organised with Jose Harris)
2006“War in Twentieth-Century Europe: Comparative Approaches” (EUI, Florence, September 2006, co-organised with Heinz-Gerhard Haupt)
2006“Genocide in Twentieth-Century Europe” (Edinburgh, September 2006, co-organised with Donald Bloxham)
2006“Wilhelmine Germany and Edwardian Britain: Cultural Contacts and Transfers” (Oxford, March 2006, co-organized with Dominik Geppert)
2005“Terrorism in Twentieth Century Europe” (Oxford, September 2005)