Prof. Ulrich Beck

Prof. Ulrich Beck

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich and
London School of Economics


It is with great regret that the Institute acknowledges the passing of Professor Ulrich Beck on January 1, 2015. He was a senior research partner of the Institute and, indeed, one of the world’s most influential contemporary intellectuals.

Ulrich Beck had a decisive impact on academic and public discussions of contemporary society and was, with his notion of cosmopolitanism, one of the most widely read and cited experts of sociology. His 1986 book "Risk Society" was a scholarly and political bestseller. It was translated into 35 languages; a tribute to its truly global influence.

Ulrich Beck was Professor of Sociology at the University of Munich, and was Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He founded the Research Center "Reflexive Modernization" at LMU Munich, which was financed by the DFG (German Research Society). He was also a Senior Loeb Fellow at Harvard University and a Professor at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris. Beck also received Honorary Doctorates from several other European universities.

In 2012 he was awarded an Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for his project "Methodological Cosmopolitanism - In the Laboratory of Climate Change", to research the social and political conditions and consequences of climate change.

At MPI-MMG, Prof. Beck was a Senior Research Fellow and functioned in an advising capacity for the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity, where he worked with Prof. Vertovec towards developing further advanced research and theory concerning cosmopolitanism and transnationalism.