Rudolf Stichweh is Senior Professor for sociology at the “Forum Internationale Wissenschaft” and the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn. He is director of the Department for Comparative Research on Democracies at the Forum Internationale Wissenschaft.

After studying sociology and philosophy in Berlin and Bielefeld, Stichweh earned his doctoral degree with a dissertation on the history of physics in the modern system of scientific disciplines at the University of Bielefeld in 1983. Stichweh then was a research associate of the Max Planck Society from 1985 to 1994 (MPI for the Study of Societies 1985–89, MPI for European Legal History 1989–94). In 1987 he worked at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. From 1994 to 2020 he was professor for sociology at the universities of Bielefeld, Lucerne (Switzerland), and Bonn. He is a permanent visiting professor at the University of Lucerne, a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (Nordrhein Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften) in Düsseldorf, and of the national academy Leopoldina in Halle. Stichweh has held guest professorships at the University of Vienna; École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris; Radboud University in Nijmegen; University of Klagenfurt; Princeton University, Department of German; and the University of Chicago, Department of Sociology. He will receive the George Sarton Medal for History of Science of the University of Ghent in early 2021.

His main research fields are functional differentiation and theory of world society; structure and history of the modern system of science, 1750–2020; authoritarian and democratic political systems in the twenty-first century; inequality and asymmetrical dependency; university as a world organization;  and sociological systems theory.


The Merton Project: Science and Political Regimes in the 21st Century


No projects were found for this scholar.

Selected Publications

Ahlers, A. L., Krichewsky, D., Moser, E., & Stichweh, R. (in press). Democratic and Authoritarian Political Systems in 21st Century World Society. Vol. I.: Differentiation, Inclusion, Responsiveness. Bielefeld: Transcript.

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Stichweh, R. (2013). Wissenschaft, Universität, Professionen: soziologische Analysen. Bd. 1. Bielefeld: Transcript.

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Stichweh, R. (2010). Der Fremde: Studien zu Soziologie und Sozialgeschichte. Berlin: Suhrkamp.

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Stichweh, R. (1991). Der frühmoderne Staat und die europäische Universität: zur Interaktion von Politik und Erziehungssystem im Prozeß ihrer Ausdifferenzierung (16.-18. Jahrhundert). Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

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Stichweh, R. (1984). Zur Entstehung des modernen Systems wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen: Physik in Deutschland 1740-1890. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.

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News & Press

Visiting Scholar Rudolf Stichweh interviewed by General-Anzeiger Bonn on receiving the Sarton Medal