Professor Holger Nehring

Chair in Contemporary European History

History University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Professor Holger Nehring

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About me

About me

I am a contemporary historian of Europe (including Britain) who believes that all good history is in some shape or form contemporary history. I also work a lot with theories and concepts fropm the social sciences, especially sociology and International Relations. I work on two themes: the transnational history of social movements (especially peace movements) and the history of the Cold War (in particular the history of military infrastructure).

Together with Dr Sam Alberti at National Museums Scotland (PI), I am currently working on a large project 'Materialising the Cold War', generously funded by the AHRC (AH/V001078/1). The project analyses museum collections and displays across the UK and Europe - covering everything from military and social history to technology, art and design - to understand how the Cold War materialised in a specific national context and ask exactly how it features in museums today (

My biography has prepared me for this interdisciplinary journey. I received my training in contemporary history, political science, and philosophy. Before joining Stirling's Division of  History and Politics in September 2013, he was based in various positions at the University of Sheffield. I hold a DPhil from Oxford which I had the pleasure to attend with very generous funding from a Rhodes scholarship.

I have held a number of visiting research fellowships at universities in Europe and north America: at the Forum for Contemporary History, Oslo and the Norwegian Nobel Institute (2007 and 2008); at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Columbus, OH, USA (2009); at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (2009); at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris (as professeur invité in 2010); at the History Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA (2012); and at CISAC-TEC at Stanford (2019).

Divisional / Faculty Contribution

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Other Academic Activities

Co-Convenor, Research Programme in Human Security, Conflict and Co-Operation

Co-Director, Centre for Policy, Conflict and Co-Operation Research…erationresearch/

Co-Editor, Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements

Co-Editor, Studies in Civil Society…in-civil-society

Professional membership

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Fellow, Royal Historical Society

University Contribution

Member of Academic Council

Member of University Court

Member of University EDI Working Group

Research (3)

I am a historian of post-1945 Western Europe, with special interests in the history of social movements, protests and political activism in Britain and West Germany, the history of violence and peace, the social history of the Cold War, and environmental history.

Together with colleagues in Vienna and Berlin, I collaborate on a platform that brings together colleagues working on the history of science in the Cold War, and especially the Pugwash movement:

I have now begun work on a major project that examines the role of infrastructure for NATO in the Cold War, with special respect to the extreme environments in NATO's northern rim ('the High North') as well as transatlantic debates about burden sharing in the alliance.


Materialising the Cold War
PI: Professor Holger Nehring
Funded by: Arts and Humanities Research Council

The Scottish Privy Council, 1692-1708: government from Revolution to Union
PI: Dr Alastair Mann
Funded by: The Leverhulme Trust

Paradiplomacy and regional development (PARE): transnational agency in the making of regional social and cultural infrastructures since 1945
PI: Professor Holger Nehring
Funded by: The British Academy

Outputs (60)


Book Chapter

Nehring H (2021) April 1960: Aufbruch zum ersten Ostermarsch. In: Langebach M (ed.) Protest: Deutschland 1949-2020. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, pp. 158-163.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2020) Failed Utopia? The University of Stirling from the 1960s to the early 1980s. In: Taylor M & Pellew J (eds.) Utopian Universities: A Global History of the New Campuses of the 1960s. Oxford: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 191-206.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2020) "Grenzen der Demokratie?" Bundesdeutsche Friedensbewegungen und die Westarbeit der SED im Übergang von den 1950er zu den 1960er Jahren ["Limits of Democracy?" West German peace movements and he SED's Western Department from the 1950s to te 1960s]. In: Berger S, Dietz B & Muller-Enbergs H (eds.) Das Ruhrgebiet im Fokus der Westarbeit der DDR. Stefan Berger et al ed. Schriftenreihe des Instituts für soziale Bewegungen, A65. Essen: Klartext Verlag, pp. 59-86.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2017) Europäische Friedensbewegungen seit dem 19. Jahrhundert [European peace movements since the nineteenth century]. In: Echternkamp J & Mack H (eds.) Geschichte ohne Grenzen? Europäische Dimensionen der Militärgeschichte vom 19. Jahrhundert bis heute [History without borders? European Dimensions of Military History from the nineteenth century to the present day]. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, pp. 99-110.;

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2017) Peace Movements. In: Berger S & Nehring H (eds.) The History of Social Movements in Global Perspective. Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 485-513.

Book Chapter

Berger S & Nehring H (2017) Introduction: Towards a Global History of Social Movements. In: Berger S & Nehring H (eds.) The History of Social Movements in Global Perspective: A Survey. Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-35.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2016) Friedensforschung in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Entwicklung und Debatten von den 1960er bis in die 1980er Jahre [Peace Research in the Federal Republic of Germany. development and debates from the 1960s to the 1980s]. In: Defrance C C & Pfeil U (eds.) Verständigung und Versöhnung nach dem "Zivilisationsbruch"? Deutschland in Europa nach 1945. L'Allemagne dans les relations internationales, 9. Brussels: Peter Lang, pp. 711-734.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2016) Peace Movements and the Politics of Recognition in the Cold War. In: Gosewinkel D & Rucht D (eds.) Transnational Struggles for Recognition: New Perspectives on Civil Society since the Twentieth Century. Studies on Civil Society, 8. New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 231-251.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2015) The Last Battle of the Cold War: Peace Movements and German Politics in the 1980s. In: Nuti L, Bozo F, Rey M & Rother B (eds.) The Euromissile Crisis and the End of the Cold War. Cold War International History Project. Stanford, CA, USA: Stanford University Press, pp. 309-330.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2014) Perspektiven: Friedenserziehung und Friedenspädagogil, Gewalt und Zivilität. Zur Historisierung einer “Praxeologie des Friedens. In: Koessler T & Schwitanski A (eds.) Frieden lernen: Friedenspädagogik und Erziehung im 20. Jahrhundert. Frieden und Krieg - Beiträge zur Historischen Friedensforschung. Essen: Klartext Verlag, pp. 275-286.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2014) Transnationale soziale Bewegungen. In: Dulffer J J & Loth W (eds.) Dimensionen internationaler Geschichte. Studien zur Internationalen Geschichte, 30. Munich: Oldenbourg, pp. 129-150.

Edited Book

Bernhard P & Nehring H (eds.) (2013) Den Kalten Krieg denken: Beiträge zur sozialen Ideengeschichte seit 1945 [Thinking the Cold War: Contributions to the social history of ideas since 1945]. Frieden und Krieg, Beiträge zur Historischen Friedensforschung. Essen: Klartext Verlag.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2012) Transnationale soziale Bewegungen [Transnational social movements]. In: Dülffer J & Loth W (eds.) Dimensionen internationaler Geschichte [Dimensions of International History]. Studien zur internationalen Geschichte, 30. Munich: Oldenbourg, pp. 129-150.

Book Review

Nehring H (2012) The Price of Freedom. Review of: Der Preis Der Freihiet: Geschichte Europas in unserer Zeit by Andreas Wirsching, Munich: Beck, 2012, 487 pp. ISBN 9783406632525. TLS: The Times Literary Supplement, (5720), pp. 35-35.


Nehring H, Engerman DC, Rupprecht T, Moro R, Fulbrook M, Gestwa K & Beige B (2012) La Guerra fredda e la storia del secolo XX [The Cold War and XX century history]. Contemporanea, 15 (1), pp. 119-176.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2011) 'Generation', modernity and the making of contemporary history: responses in West European Protest Movements around ‘1968’. In: von der Goltz A (ed.) Talking ‘bout my generation: Conflicts of generation building and Europe' s '1968'. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, pp. 73-95.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2010) Vtoraya mirovaya voijna v nemetskih i britanskih shkoljnih uchebnikah istoriji: mezhdu imperijej, Evropoi I gegemonijjej liberalizma. In: Guzenkova T & Filianova V (eds.) Vtoraya mirivaya I Velikaya Otechestvennaya vojny v uchebnikah istoriyi sstran SNH I ES: problem, podhodi, interpretaciyi. Materiali mezhdunarodnoy konferenciyi (Moskva, 8-9 aprelja 2010 goda). Moscow: Rossiskii institut strategicheskih issledovanii, pp. 95-109.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2006) Britain as the Cradle of German extra-parliamentary protests?. In: Bauerkamper A & Eisenberg C (eds.) Britain as a model of modern society? German views. Arbeitskreis Deutsche England-Forschung, 56. Augsburg: Wissner, pp. 111-132.

Book Chapter

Nehring H (2005) The British Response to SDI: Introductory Paper. In: Kandiah M & Staerck G (eds.) The British Response to SDI. Witness seminar held in the Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London on 9 July 2003. CCBH Oral History Programme. London: Centre for Contemporary British History, pp. 17-24.


Nehring H (2005) National internationalists: British and West German protests against nuclear weapons, the politics of transnational communications and the social history of the cold war, 1957-1964. Contemporary European History, 14 (4), pp. 559-582.



I teach post-1945 European (including British) history, with a special focus on the history of the Cold War. I also teach a Special Subject on the rebellions and revolutions around 1968. I also enjoy teaching first-year students in our introductory modules on British history and concepts of history.

In addition, I have a keen interest in the history and practice of diplomacy. I am a programme director for Stirling's professional doctorate of diplomacy. In that context I have developed a keen interest in the use of simulations to foster negotiations skills. Together with senior foreign and defence experts, I have run a series of crisis simulations as part of our diplomacy programmes. This has helped our students gain key professional skills through experiential learning.

Research programmes

Research centres/groups

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