Prof. Dr. Heinrich Best

Current Status

Professor for Sociology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena Prof. Dr. Heinrich Best


1967-1973 University of Cologne (sociology, history, political science, economics)
1973 First state board examination University of Cologne (social sciences, history)
1977 Ph.D. University of Cologne (modern history, sociology, ancient history)
1987 Habilitation at the University of Cologne (sociology)


1987-1992 Professor at the Research Institute for Sociology, University of Cologne
1990-1994 Scientific Director of the Social Science Information Centre (IZ), Bonn
seit 1992 Chairman of Methods of Empirical Social Research and Structural Analyses of Modern Societies, Freidrich-Schiler-University Jena
seit 1996 Visiting Professor at the Universities of Glasgow, Salzburg, London, Siena, Paris and Oxford (St. Anthony’s College)
2001-2012 Founding member of the CRC 580 Board, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Collaborative Research Center 580 “Social Developments in Post-Socialistic Societies” (financed by the German Research Foundation) at the Universities of Jena and Halle
seit 2012 Chairman of the Research Committee on Political Elites of the International Political Science Association
seit 2013 Director of the Competence Centre Right-wing Extremism Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena

Research Topics

  • Political und Historical Sociology
  • Social Structural Analysis
  • Elite Research
  • Methodology Research
  • Recent publications (selected)

  • (Co-editor with Katharina Bluhm, Michael Fritsch and Rainer K. Silbereisen) Transitions – Transformations: Trajectories of Social, Economic and Political Change after Communism, HSR 35/2(2010).
  • (Co-editor with John Higley) Democratic Elitism: New Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives, Brill, Leiden 2012.
  • (Co-editor with György Lengyel and Luca Verzichelli) The Europe of Elites, Oxford University Press, New York 2012.
  • (Co-editor mit Everhard Holtmann) Aufbruch der entsicherten Gesellschaft. Deutschland nach der Wiedervereinigung, Campus, Frankfurt/M. und New York 2012.
  • (Co-editor with Elena Semenova and Michael Edinger) Parliamentary Elites in Central and Eastern Europe. Recruitment and representation, Routledge, New York 2014.
  • (Co-editor mit John Higley) Political Elites in the Transatlantic Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingsstoke 2014.
  • A complete bibliography is available


    Address FSU Jena, Institut für Soziologie, Carl-Zeiss-Str. 2, 07743 Jena