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Studies on the Germans

Norbert Elias (author)
Eric Dunning (author)
Stephen Mennell (author)
Stephen Mennell (translator)
Eric Dunning (translator)
Publication date:
24th June 2013

Author Biography

NORBERT ELIAS (1897-1990) was one of the greatest sociologists of the twentieth century. He studied in Breslau and Heidelberg and served as Karl Mannheim's assistant in Frankfurt. In exile after 1933, first in France and then in Britain, he wrote his magnum opus On the Process of Civilisation. His whole oeuvre is now appearing in new scholarly editions in the Collected Works in English. Stephen Mennell is Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University College Dublin, a member of the Board of the Norbert Elias Foundation, Amsterdam, and General Editor of the Collected Works; Eric Dunning is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leicester.


Studies on the Germans, Volume 11 of the Collected Works, was first published in German in 1989, exactly 50 years after Elias' most famous work, On the Process of Civilisation. The essays in the book were written independently of each other over three decades. In this new edition, Elias' original English text of the extremely important essay 'The breakdown of civilisation' is published for the first time. Other essays include those on duelling and its wider social significance, as well as on nationalism, civilisation and violence, and post-war terrorism in the Federal Republic of Germany. All the essays have been newly annotated by the editors, especially to make clear many historical references that Elias, unrealistically, assumed his readers would understand without further explanation.