Born 1949 in Cologne, degree in history, German philology and Latin American area studies. Research projects in Bolivia and Argentina, lecturer at the German Development Service (DED) from 1979 to 1984. 1991 dissertation on personal responsibility and political integrity in the political thinking of Hannah Arendt. Research in cooperation with the Technical University Dresden on the emergence of the civil courage habitus, funded by DAAD and DFG. Lecturer at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science of the Free University Berlin since 2000. Launch of international communication network for research on Hannah Arendt (www.hannaharendt.net). 2003 guest professor at Universidade Federal de Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil. 2005 habilitation with research on courageous action in politics, guest professor at Núcleo de Estudos da Violência at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil. 2012 guest professor at Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile, 2017 at PUC Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Organization of summer seminars and workshops including: in 2003 “The Thought of Hannah Arendt: Asian Dialogues in the New Century” at the Goethe Institute Hong Kong (together with Peter Baehr); in 2004 “Gewalt und politisches Handeln” in Ljubljana (with Mirovni Institute); in 2005 “Dichterisch denken. Hannah Arendt und die Künste” at the Free University Berlin (together with Irmela von der Lühe); in 2006 “Between Past and Future: What does political thinking mean today?” at the Mirovni Institute in Ljubljana (together with Vlasta Jalusic and Antonia Grunenberg); in 2006 “Truth and Lies in Politics” at the Goethe Institute Washington (with Wolfgang Bauernfeind and Alex van Oss).
Since 2007, course director at the IUC Dobrovnik: “European Identity between Dictatorship and Freedom in the Twentieth Century”.
Journalistic work for radio and television.