Political scientist, US American correspondent & book author

Paul Hockenos is a US American correspondent and acclaimed book author who knows Germany like few outsiders do. He is an expert on Germany’s clean-energy transition, transatlantic relations, and Berlin’s vibrant subcultures.

For three decades, Paul Hockenos has reported from Europe, for Foreign Policy, CNN Opinion, New York Times, The Nation, and many other periodicals. He has worked as newsroom editor, correspondent, and analyst. In addition to four books on European affairs, Paul has won prize fellowships from American Academy in Berlin, German Marshall Fund of the US, and European Journalism College. He covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the wars in former Yugoslavia, the transformation of the EU, green movements, and Europe’s climate policies. His recent books have looked at Berlin’s offbeat pop culture and how the city’s underground movements shaped the world-famous city of today.

Paul Hockenos – Lecture topics:

  • Berlin Calling: Stories of Anarchy, Music, Subculture and the Fall of the Wall. Berlin is a city known for its politically charged underground world of dance clubs and night spots, squats and offbeat lifestyles. Less well known: this cool vibe turned Berlin into the successful metropolis it is today.
  • Explaining Germany’s Transition to Clean Energy. An introduction to Germany’s pioneering green-energy transition called the Energiewende.
  • Germany from Below: How Mass Movements Made Germany Liberal From the postwar years to the present, grassroots social movements have pushed and prodded Germany to become the modern, democratic, and open country it is today.
  • Germany-U.S. Relations at a Crossroads. The unified Germany is an independent country with a complex relationship to the U.S.
  • Wither Conservatism in Germany — and Beyond? No party has defined the political history of postwar Germany, or even all of postwar Europe, more than Germany’s Christian Democratic Party (CDU).

Paul Hockenos doesn’t just write about things – he lives them. In the 1980s, he left the US for the Cold War island of West Berlin, where he studied at the Free University and revelled in the bizarre nightlife of the walled-in city. When the Wall fell, he hitchhiked to Budapest, Hungary, where he took up as a journalist chronicling the first free elections and the rise of the far right. Paul’s book Free to Hate was the first to look at the nationalist, xenophobic movements that would later put their people into power across Central Europe.

In former Yugoslavia, he covered the wars there and then worked for the international community, including the EU, ensuring the postwar peace and transitions to democracy. Returning to Berlin, Paul authored book after book about political phenomena in Europe – the persons and events that slide beneath the radar of the mainstream media. He worked at think tanks and foundations before returning to his desk, where he writes today, primarily about the preeminent issue of our day: the climate crisis.

Paul has presented his work and ideas across Europe and North America, including at Oxford University, Harvard University, and the Free University, as well as before many companies and associations. He is currently working on a book about Europe’s response to climate breakdown.