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Prof. Dr. Daniel Hedinger

Daniel Hedinger


Global History

Modern East Asian History, Modern European History

Koserstraße 20
Raum A246
14195 Berlin


Office hours online (WebEx), on appointment via email.

Daniel Hedinger is an Associate Professor (PD) for Modern History at the history department of LMU Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München: https://www.ngzg.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de/personen/prof_geyer/daniel-hedinger/index.html). Currently, he is Visiting Professor at FU Berlin (replacement of the Chair of Global History, Sebastian Conrad). He held Visiting Professorships both at LMU Munich and Humboldt University Berlin. Hedinger received fellowships from the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, the LMU Center for Advanced Studies, and the German Historical Institute in Rome. Before, he studied Modern History and Japanese Studies at Humboldt University Berlin (Ph.D.), the University of Zurich (Ph.D./MA) and the INALCO (BA) in Paris. 

Hedinger is a global historian with a regional focus on both Modern East Asia and Europe. In his first book, he brings in a Japanese perspective to a cultural history of World Expositions at the beginning of the 20th Century. During the last years, he has been working on a global history of fascism. More concretely, his second book shows the importance of the Axis alliance for the history of a Second World War perceived as a global conflict (Die Achse Berlin – Rom – Tokio. C.H. Beck 2020). Currently, he is working on an offspring of this, a project that analyses the Second World War in a transimperial perspective.

Seminar „Nazi Germany and the Second World War in Transimperial Perspective“, FU Berlin
Seminar „Der Nationalsozialismus transnational“, FU Berlin
Seminar „Erinnerungspolitik in Asien und Europa im Kalten Krieg“, FU Berlin

Lecture (all levels), “Faschismus global 1919-2019,” LMU Munchen
Seminar (Bachelor), “Der Pariser Frieden und die Welt 1919,” LMU Munchen
Tutorial (Master),“Transimperiale Geschichte. Eine theoretisch-methodische Innovation?,” LMU Munchen
Tutorial (Bachelor),“Geschichte des Faschismus,” LMU Munchen

Lecture (all levels), “Der Zweite Weltkrieg als imperialer Krieg,” LMU Munich

Seminar (Master), “The Rise and Fall of Empires. (Post)colonial Perspectives on East Asia in the 19th and 20th Century,” Master Global History, FU & HU Berlin
Seminar (Bachelor), “Wie schreibt man Globalgeschichte? Akteure kultureller Globalisierung im Ostasien des 19. Jahrhunderts,” HU Berlin
Seminar (Master), “Das Erbe von Tokio und Nürnberg. Geschichtsschreibung und Erinnerungspolitik in Asien und Europa nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg,” HU Berlin
Lecture, “Schlüsseldokumente zur Geschichte des Zweiten Weltkriegs aus ostasiatischer Perspektive,” HU Berlin
Tutorial (Master), “Abschlusskolloquium Bachelor/Master,” HU Berlin


Seminar (Master), together with Prof. Dr. Martin Geyer, “Wie schreibt man Weltgeschichte? Die Zeit 1918-1920,” LMU Munich

Seminar (Master), Weltkriege und Weltordnungen. Konkurrierende Entwürfe von Globalität inder ersten Hälfte des. 20. Jahrhunderts,” FU Berlin

Seminar (Bachelor), “Der Zweite Weltkrieg global. Gewalt, Mobilisierung und Krieg in Ostasien, 1931-1945,” HU Berlin

Lecture (Bachelor), “Politik- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte Japans bis 1970,” FU Berlin

Seminar (Bachelor, 2WS), together with Christoph Gumb, “Der Russisch-Japanische Krieg 1904/5,” HU Berlin

Main Research Interests:

Modern East Asian History, Modern European History

Global History of Fascism, Second World War, Transimperial history, Museum Studies, Cultural History, Legal History

My first book on Japan’s role in imperial competition in World Expositions appeared in the series “Globalgeschichte” of Campus 2011 (“Im Wettstreit mit dem Westen. Japans Zeitalter der Ausstellungen 1854-1941”: https://www.campus.de/buecher-campus-verlag/wissenschaft/geschichte/im_wettstreit_mit_dem_westen-3941.html. The last years I spent with research on global fascism, more precisely on the shared history of the Axis empires of Japan, Italy, and Germany. The outcome is a book entitled “Die Achse Berlin – Rom – Tokio,” which will be published by C.H. Beck soon (https://www.chbeck.de/hedinger-achse/product/27786453). In this project, I debunk older readings of the axis as a “hollow” alliance. Instead, I treat it as a fascist alliance of global reach. Thereby, besides global fascism, my research interest is the Second World War from a global perspective, as I think that it is crucial to move away from a neat division between the so-called European and Asian/Pacific theaters of war. Currently, I’m is working on an offspring of this, a project that analyses the Second World War in a transimperial perspective (see below).

Current Research Project: The Second World War in Transimperial Perspective

From a global perspective, World War II was foremost a struggle fought between empires, fought for the expansion and the survival of empires, and ultimately fought to determine which kind of empire would dominate the world. However, the Second World War is first and foremost understood and described as a war between (European) nation-states. The tenacity with which nationalized interpretation of the conflict are maintained is astonishing, especially when we take a look at recent changes in the historiography of the First World War: Here, in the context of its centennial, voices have raised that point to the global and thus above all imperial dimensions of this seminal catastrophe of the 20th century. Paradoxically, the same thing has never happened in the historiography of the Second World War. Here, national historical and Eurocentric approaches still dominate. But in this context many dimensions of this conflict, as well as many of its actors, run the risk of being left out. The starting hypothesis of this project is that we should read World War II less as a struggle between nation states and more as a war between empires struggling for global supremacy. Against this background, the project aims to develop a transimperial perspective on the World War.

Considered from the point of view of transimperial history, the familiar reading of Second World War undergoes several shifts. Firstly, the globality of this conflict becomes much more evident by including the colonial sphere. Secondly, the chronologies change in relation to the origins of the World War. By stressing imperial context and connections, the origins seem more strongly associated with imperial “peripheries”. At the same time this would open up a long durée perspective encompassing both world wars and even pointing towards the Age of Empire in the late 19th century, as it was the lasting imperial rivalry that produced ongoing transimperial interaction, competition, and cooperation well into the 1930s. Thirdly, a transimperial perspective could also be helpful to reconsider questions of geopolitics and world orders. Fourthly,the crucial role of the colonial periphery and its subaltern subjects in the war theatre would be brought into the story.Finally, a transimperial approach would have the potential to complicate, complement, and change national-focused narratives. But on the other hand, besides and beyond such macro-level approaches, a transimperial perspective could also be useful to address the war at a micro-level, especially concerning the question of how people coming from and living in colonial contexts were involved in the war and contributed to its outcome.


Die Achse, 1919-1946. Geschichte eines faschistischen Weltbündnisses, Munich (C.H. Beck) 2020.

Im Wettstreit mit dem Westen. Japans Zeitalter der Ausstellungen 1854-1941, (Reihe Globalgeschichte, Band 7), Frankfurt am Main (Campus) 2011.

Edited Theme Issue/Special Issues

with Reto Hofmann, Axis Empires. Toward a Global History of Fascist Imperialism, Journal of Global History 12,2 (2017),

with Daniel Siemens, Nuremberg and Tokyo Revisited, special issue of the Jourmal of Modern European History, Vol. 14, Nr. 4 (2016).

as section editor with Paul Corner, Konrad Jarausch, Jie-Hyun Lim, Karen Petrone, Antonio Costa Pinto, Eve Rosenhaft, The Palgrave Handbook of Mass Dictatorship, Basingstoke (Palgrave), 2016.

with Daniel Siemens, Law and Historiography. Contributions to a New Cultural History of Law, in: InterDisciplines. Journal of History and Sociology Vol. 3. Nr. 2 (2012).

Articles in Journals

mit Nadin Heé, „Transimperial History. Connectivity, Cooperation and Competition“, in: Journal of Modern with Nadin Heé, “Transimperial History: Connectivity, Cooperation, and Competition” (forum article, Journal of Modern European History, 16,4 (2018), pp. 429-452.

The Imperial Nexus. Towards a Global History of the Berlin–Rome–Tokyo Axis and the Second World War,” in: Journal of Global History 12,2 (2017), pp. 184–205.

with Reto Hofmann, “Editorial. Axis Empires. Toward a Global History of Fascist Imperialism,” in: Journal of Global History 12,2 (2017), pp. 161-165.

The Spectacle of Global Fascism. The Italian Blackshirt Mission to Japan’s Asian Empire,” in: Modern Asian Studies 51,6 (2017), pp. 1999-2034.

A Global Conspiracy? The Berlin–Tokyo–Rome Axis on Trial and its Impact on the Historiography of the Second World War,” in: Journal of Modern European History14,4 (2016), pp. 500-521.

with Daniel Siemens, “The Legal Moment in International History. Global Perspectives on Doing Law and Writing History in Nuremberg and Tokyo, 1945–1948. Introduction,”, in: Journal of Modern European History, 14,4 (2016), pp. 492-499.

Querschnittbericht Globalgeschichte,” in: VHD Journal, Nr. 3 (2015), pp. 70-75.

Universal Fascism and its Global Legacy. Italy’s and Japan’s Entangled History in the Early 1930s,” in: Fascism, 2,2 (2013), pp. 141–160.

with Daniel Siemens, “What’s the Problem with Law in History?”, in: InterDisciplines. Journal of History and Sociology, 3,2 (2012), pp. 6-17.

Globalization of Legal Cultures in the 19th Century. Criminal Trials, Gender, and the Public in Meiji Japan,” in: InterDisciplines. Journal of History and Sociology, 3,2 (2012), pp. 135-165.

Krieg, Biopolitik und Medizin. Mori Ōgais Werdegang oder wie Japan um 1900 zum globalen Vorbild mutierte,” in: Nach Feierabend. Zürcher Jahrbuch für Wissensgeschichte, 8 (2012), pp. 105-125.

Kulturen der Mobilisierung. Repräsentationen von Krieg und Gewalt im japanischen Imperium 1937/38,” in:Yōroppa kenkyū/European Studies (University of Tokyo), 11 (2012), pp. 107-127.

Showcases of Revolutionary Transformation. Exhibitions in the Early Meiji Period,” in: Comparativ, 19,2/3 (2009), pp. 78-102.

“‘Fighting a Peaceful War’. Japan at World Exhibitions in the 1860s and 1870s,” in: Bureau International des Expositions, Bulletin 2006, (2007), pp. 71- 94.

“‘Keines unserer Leben ist verschwendet, wenn wir auf dem Schlachtfeld sterben’. Militärausstellungen und Erinnerungsfeste im Japan der frühen Shōwa-Zeit,” in: Journal of Modern European History, 4,1 (2006), pp. 114-132.

Book Chapters

with Moritz von Brescius, The German and Japanese Empires. Great Power Competition and the World Wars“, in: Peter Bang, C. A. Bayly & Walter Scheidel (eds.), The Oxford World History of Empire forthcoming 2020.

Fascismo globale. Una storia intrecciata italo-giapponese negli anni Trenta del XX secolo,” in: Alessio Gagliardi, Valeria Galimi, Camilla Poesio (eds.), Il fascismo italiano in una prospettiva transnazionale. Circolazione di idee, politiche, uomini, (Rome, forthcoming 2020).

1940. Der Dreimächtepakt zwischen Deutschland, Italien und Japan”, in: Andreas Fahrmeir et al. (eds.), Globalgeschichte Deutschlands, München (C.H. Beck), forthcoming 2020/21.

From Blitzkrieg to Total War? Fascist Warfare and the Berlin – Tokyo – Rome Axis”, in: Alan Kramer, Javier Rodrigo, Miguel Alonso, David Alegre (eds.), Fascist Warfare. Aggression, Occupation, Annihilation (1922-1945), Basingstoke (Palgrave) 2019, pp. 195-220.

Welfare and Labour in Interwar Germany and Japan. A Transnational Perspective”, in: Sandrine Kott & Kiran Klaus Patel (eds.), The Internationalization of Nazi Labor and Social Policy and the Role of the Reichsarbeitsministerium, Oxford (Oxford University Press) 2018, pp. 173-200.

Mass Dictatorship and Imperialism. The Imperial Axis and the Home Front in Japan, Italy and Germany,” in: Paul Corner, Jie-Hyun Lim (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Mass Dictatorship, Basingstoke (Palgrave) 2016, pp. 35-49.

Introduction. Militarisation and Dictatorship in the Age of Total War,” in: Paul Corner, Jie-Hyun Lim (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Mass Dictatorship, Basingstoke (Palgrave) 2016, pp. 287-292.

Krisenlose Gesellschaften?” in: Thomas Mergel (ed.), Krisen verstehen. Historische und kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen, Frankfurt a. M. (Campus) 2012, pp. 147-150.

Im Dienste der Nation. Hygiene, Biopolitik und Moderne im Japan der Meiji-Zeit,” in: Jörg Baberowski, Maike Lehmann, David Feest (eds.), Dem Anderen begegnen, Frankfurt a. M. (Campus) 2008, pp. 113-139.

Aus der Perspektive des Schlachtfeldes. Krieg, soziale Ordnung und Imperium in Japan und Russland,” together with Christoph Gumb, in: Jörg Baberowski, David Feest, Christoph Gumb (eds.), Imperiale Herrschaft in der Provinz, Frankfurt am Main (Campus) 2008, pp. 223-267. 


Law, Ricky W.: Transnational Nazism. Ideology and Culture in German-Japanese Relations, 1919–1936, Cambridge  2019, in: 30 March 2020.

Lutz Klinkhammer, Amedeo Osti Guerrazzi, Thomas Schlemmer, Die „Achse“ im Krieg. Politik, Ideologie und Kriegführung 1939–1945, Paderborn (Ferdinand Schöningh) 2010, in: H-Sok-u-Kult, 28.Feb. 2013.

Ken Ishida, Fashisuto no sensō. Sekaishiteki bunmyaku de yomu echiopia sensō, [Der faschistische Krieg. Der äthiopische Krieg im weltgeschichtlichen Kontext gelesen], in: Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken, Nr. 92 (2012), S. 733-734.

Alan Tansman, The Culture of Japanese Fascism, Durham (Duke University Press) 2009.
In: H-Soz-u-Kult, 11 April 2011.

Kevin M. Doak, A History of Nationalism in Modern Japan. Placing the People, Leiden (Brill) 2006. In: H-Soz-u-Kult, 14 March 2011. 

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