Hans Rattinger

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Hans Rattinger (2018)

Johannes "Hans" Rattinger (born February 18, 1950 in Karlsruhe ) is a German political scientist . He held chairs for political science at the University of Bamberg (1982–2008) and the University of Mannheim (2008–2015). From 2008 to 2009 he was also the first appointed President of GESIS - Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences based in Mannheim.

academic career

After graduating from high school , he studied political science, modern and contemporary as well as economic and social history and English at the University of Freiburg . From 1970 he received a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation. In 1973 he was there with Dieter Oberndörfer with the dissertation Armament Dynamics in the International System: Mathematical Reaction Models for Arms Races and the Problems of Their Application to the Dr. phil. doctorate (summa cum laude). After receiving his doctorate, he worked as a research assistant at the doctoral supervisor's chair until 1979 . From 1974 to 1975 he went to Harvard University in Cambridge , Massachusetts (Center for European Studies and Program for Science and International Affairs) as a John F. Kennedy Memorial Fellow . In 1978 he completed his habilitation in political science at the University of Freiburg with a thesis on economic activity and political elections in the Federal Republic of Germany .

Positions in science

In early 1978, he turned down an offer to move to Yale University in New Haven , Connecticut , as an assistant professor . From the 1979/1980 winter semester onwards, he represented a newly created chair for political science at the University of Bamberg; in spring 1982 he was appointed to this. He was Dean of the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences there for two terms , as well as Dean of Studies and, for many years, Chairman of the Diploma Examination Committee for Political Science and Sociology . He expanded the Bamberg diploma course in political science into one of the leading courses of this kind with a strong empirical-analytical focus. At the turn of the millennium he founded the Bamberg Center for Empirical Studies (BACES), a university research infrastructure that conducts telephone, written and web-based surveys and supports them methodologically and in the evaluation phase.

In autumn 2008 he accepted the position of President of GESIS - Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences and at the same time a chair for Comparative Political Behavioral Research at the University of Mannheim. GESIS was created as a merger of the formerly autonomous social science infrastructure facilities ZUMA (Mannheim), Central Archive for Empirical Social Research (Cologne) and IZ Social Sciences (Bonn and Berlin) and so far has only been managed on an interim basis. Soon after taking office, however, the promises of the responsible ministries of the federal government and the siting states proved to be unreliable to sustainably support the upcoming comprehensive integration task in order to bring these institutions together effectively and to reduce the functional and financial disadvantages of redundancies and location diversity. That is why he ended his presidency of GESIS after a year and a quarter and intensified his research and teaching at the university's chair. In 2015 he retired after the summer semester.

From 1987 to 1988 he was Visiting Professor of German and European Studies at the University of Toronto , and in the following academic year he held the Konrad Adenauer Chair at Georgetown University in Washington, DC . At this university he worked again from 1991 to 1994 within the framework of a "Joint Appointment" with the University of Bamberg as Research Professor of Comparative and International Politics on the establishment of the Center for German and European Studies, founded in 1990. From 1989 to 1990 he was granted an academy year by the Volkswagen Foundation.

He worked on the editorial boards of several leading international journals (including the European Journal of Political Research) and has been a member of numerous scientific professional associations since the 1970s, such as the International Studies Association (ISA), the American Political Science Association (APSA) and the German Association for Political Science (DVPW), of which he was a board member and advisory board member for a decade.

Research activity and focus

Since the late 1970s, he has been continuously soliciting substantial amounts of third-party funding to carry out research projects from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the EU , the Volkswagen Foundation and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation . In terms of methodology, so-called panel studies played a major role in his research projects, i.e. repeated surveys of identical test persons over shorter (e.g. election campaigns) or longer periods (e.g. from one election to the next). Since the Bundestag election in 1990 , he was involved in a large election study for every Bundestag election up to 2013. He is one of the co-founders of the German Society for Election Research (DGfW), of which he was a director for many years. The GLES ( German Longitudinal Election Study ) emerged from initiatives of the DGfW , which initially carried out the world's most comprehensive national election study in Germany since 2009 with funding from the DFG. Until retirement, he was one of the four (later five) “Principal Investigators” with a focus on short and long-term panel studies. In the meantime (2018) the GLES has been taken over into the permanent financing at GESIS.

The main focus of his research has developed over the decades as follows: The dissertation and related publications dealt with the empirical and methodological problems of applying formal modeling to structures and processes in international politics and, related to this, fundamental questions of strategy. For the first time, the simulation studies on the first election to the European Parliament dealt with voter behavior. With the habilitation thesis he worked his way into empirical political economy. During the years as a professor, he mainly carried out attitude and behavioral research, with the continuing interest in international politics being reflected in numerous papers on population attitudes to questions of foreign and security policy. In the narrower field of electoral research, the focus of interest was on voter participation , alternate voting, spatial modeling of voter behavior and, in particular, attitudes towards political parties. In later years, cohort analysis studies on the relationship between demographic and political developments were added. In an international comparison, he mainly worked on population attitudes towards the European Union in the context of projects within the various EU research framework programs.


In addition to over 100 articles in professional journals and edited volumes, his most important book publications are:


  • Harald Schoen, Hans Rattinger, Maria Preißinger, Konstantin Gavras, Markus Steinbrecher: Election Campaigns and Voter Decision-Making in a Multi-Party System: The 2009 and 2013 German Federal Elections. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2017.
  • Hans Rattinger, Harald Schoen, Fabian Endres, Sebastian Jungkunz, Matthias Mader, Jana Pötzschke: Old Friends In Troubled Waters: Policy Principles, Elites, and US-German Relations at the Citizen Level After the Cold War. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2016.
  • Laura Konzelmann, Michael Bergmann, Hans Rattinger: Demographic Change in Germany - Its Political Consequences. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014.
  • Hans Rattinger, Zoltan Juhasz, Jürgen Maier: Introduction to Political Sociology. Oldenbourg, Munich 2009.
  • Markus Steinbrecher, Sandra Huber, Hans Rattinger: Turnout in Germany: Citizen Participation in State, Federal, and European Elections since 1979. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2007.
  • Jürgen Maier, Michaela Maier, Hans Rattinger: Methods of social science data analysis: workbook with examples from political sociology. Oldenbourg, Munich 1999.
  • Hans Rattinger, Joachim Behnke, Christian Holst: Foreign policy and public opinion in the Federal Republic: A data handbook on surveys since 1954. Peter Lang, Frankfurt 1995.
  • Hans Rattinger: Economic activity and political elections in the Federal Republic of Germany. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1980.
  • Hans Rattinger, Michael Zängle, Reinhard Zintl: Distribution of mandates in the European Parliament after direct elections: A simulation study. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1978.
  • Hans Rattinger: Arms Dynamics in the International System. Oldenbourg, Munich 1975.


  • Bernhard Weßels, Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck (Eds.): Voters on the Move or on the Run? Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014.
  • Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Bernhard Weßels (eds.): Between fragmentation and concentration: The 2013 federal elections. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014.
  • Hans Rattinger, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Bernhard Weßels (eds.): Between boredom and extremes: The 2009 Bundestag election. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2011.
  • Harald Schoen, Hans Rattinger, Oscar W. Gabriel (Eds.): From Interview to Analysis: Methodical Aspects of Attitude and Choice Research. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2009.
  • Hans Rattinger, Oscar W. Gabriel, Jürgen W. Falter (eds.): The all-German voter: stability and change in voter behavior in reunified Germany. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2007.
  • Oscar W. Gabriel, Jürgen W. Falter, Hans Rattinger (eds.): Does what belongs together grow together? Stability and Change of Political Attitudes in Reunified Germany. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2005.
  • Jürgen W. Falter, Oscar W. Gabriel, Hans Rattinger (eds.): Really a people? The political orientations of East and West Germans in comparison. Leske + Budrich, Leverkusen 2000.
  • Hans Rattinger, Don Munton (Eds.): Debating National Security: The Public Dimension. Peter Lang, Frankfurt 1991.
  • David Dewitt, Hans Rattinger (Eds.): East-West Arms Control: Challenges for the Western Alliance. Routledge, London 1991.
  • Gregory Flynn, Hans Rattinger (Eds.): The Public and Atlantic Defense. Rowman & Allanheld, Totowa, NJ 1985.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Rattinger is the new President of GESIS , press release from Kerstin Hollerbach (accessed on August 29, 2019)