PD Dr. Christian Gudehus

Information about my past can be found at But more relevant is probably the future. In the next few years I would like to devote myself to five closely interwoven interests.

These are, first, psychologies of violence. Understanding violence requires among other things how these acts are produced, endured, and processed. Diverse psychologies have developed equally diverse approaches and models to do just that. Looking at these efforts, two significant gaps can be identified. First, there is a lack of historicization of psychological conceptualizations and explanations of violence. Second, approaches beyond the mainstream have so far been insufficiently documented. Thus, a systematic reappraisal of the genesis, development, and reception of psychological explanations of violence is needed. This also includes studies that are not genuinely concerned with violence, but are received in this context. With regard to the second point, psychologies beyond the mainstream need to be examined or further developed with regard to their potential to understand violence. In particular, I am interested in establishing a cultural psychological study of violence. Further, the poorly documented approaches include those that do not call themselves psychologies, but nevertheless have explanatory modes comparable to psychological approaches (e.g., religions or spiritual practices).

Second, I see myself and act as a critical, but certainly also solution-providing commentator on (mainly English-language) genocide studies. My aim is to point out the manifold problems and, where possible, to develop alternatives. For example, there is a fatal tendency to canonize studies and concepts without sufficiently contextualizing and historicizing them. There is also far too little reflection on the widespread mixing of diverse disciplines, methodologies, and epistemologies. Finally, there is a lack of reception of theoretically and methodologically advanced approaches (especially in international discourse), so that one can speak of a flattening of the scientific level, especially with regard to empirical work and theory building. Accordingly, one solution is to feed such concepts, which are indeed available, into the discussion.

Third, I am developing the research program and the international journal HARM in close collaboration with Pradeep Chakkarath. We are interested in how harm is inflicted, suffered, witnessed, documented, commented on, and analyzed. For example, we are interested in how people experience natural disasters, wars, accidents, illness, and loss. How they rape, murder, disenfranchise and exploit (humans and animals). Likewise, we want to explore how these experiences or actions are reflected - in pedagogy, science, art, popular culture, or religions. HARM is not only a long-term research program, but at the same time a journal that I have launched with Pradeep Chakkarath, Fiza Lee, and Nafissa Rami, and whose first issue will be published in January 2023.

Fourth, I consider it urgent and indispensable that RUB graduates are prepared to deal with highly problematic conditions such as war, poverty, political violence, extreme weather events. It may well be that all the measures to prevent them are ineffective ..

Fifth, I strive hard to teach in a way that sees study as a passion for thinking, arguing, writing, and presenting. I want students to learn from cases, I want to give them room to be daring and unusual, and I want to encourage them to present the results of their efforts to a public audience whenever possible. One existing example of this is the Online-Encyclopaedia Practices of Violence, which features very diverse works by students from Bochum and Maastricht in which they explore precisely violence praxeologically. Another form is the Podcast Pre&Post GEWALT, produced by students of the Bachelor of Social Science.


A liste of selected publications by Christian Gudehus can be found here.

Office hours

By appointment. Please email me at and then an appointment can usually be made in the short term.


PD Dr. Christian Gudehus
Ruhr-University Bochum
Faculty of Social Science
Chair of Social Theory and Social Psychology
Building GD, E1/253
Universitätsstr. 150
D-44801 Bochum
Tel.: +49 (0)234 32 25164
Mobil: +49 (0)176 43 85 49 52