Professor Manfred Henningsen
I grew up in the 1940s in the northern–most part of Germany, near the Danish border. The nearby city of Flensburg was the last capital of the Third Reich. I experienced as a young boy the end of Nazi empire as the collapse of all German state authority; the retreat of the German occupation armies from Scandinavia; the arrival of tens of thousands of German refugees from the East; the establishment of a British occupation regime; the gradual attempt at creating new political structures; and the refusal of older Germans to accept responsibility for a macro–criminal regime that they had helped to bring to keep in power. All of these childhood experiences have preoccupied my scholarly agenda more and more in recent years. In a way, moving to the USA in 1969 (and Hawai‘i in 1970) has intensified those interests, because as a German I was constantly asked and questioned about the Nazi chapter in German history.
My research interests were, in the past, focused on the history of Western political thought from ancient Greece to the present and the political–cultural differences between Europe and the USA. In the last 15 years I have developed a major interest in the question of how regimes of terror come into being. Originally starting with the Nazi regime, I have begun to compare German terror with other regimes of terror in Europe, Africa and Asia. Most recently, I have written about the question whether American slavery should be discussed in the context of comparative regimes of terror.
Contemporary Political Theory (POLS 610)
The spectrum of theories and philosophies
The Tradition of Political Philosophy (POLS 611)
A course that traces the notion of politics through Western history by using texts from ancient Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, modern France, Italy, Britain and Germany.
Political Thought (POLS 710)
I repeatedly taught under this number classes on comparative genocide with different foci.
In the undergraduate curriculum I regularly teach the survey course on Western political theory from Ancient Greece to the present; I occasionally teach the course on American political theory; and I frequently teach the only course on contemporary European politics (showing American students how different European politics is from US politics.