Hartmut Elsenhans is a German political scientist and Emeritus Professor of International Relations at the University of Leipzig. He was also affiliated with the Université de Montréal; Jawaharlal Nehru University, India; Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad; Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley.
He studied political science, history and sociology at the University of Tübingen and the Free University of Berlin (FU Berlin). He earned his doctoral degree in 1973 with a study on the decolonisation of Algeria in the Algerian War (1954–1962). In 1976, he gained habilitation at FU Berlin.
His current research includes capitalism and social movements, structure of the international system, rise and demise of the capitalist world system, political economy of European integration and development politics and economics. Throughout his career, Elsenhans expanded his work on the book’s topic, publishing a total of five volumes on the subject.
In the late 1970s, he had short stints as a lecturer at the University of Montreal and the University of Frankfurt before settling down for his first professorship (of International Relations) at the University of Marburg, followed shortly by a long-term professorship at Konstanz University. His focus there was on the analysis of underdevelopment, national and social emancipator movements and public administration in developing countries.
Elsenhans took the opportunity to go to Leipzig after German unification, to help build the department of international relations at the university there. He taught there until 2007, when he retired. He was given honorary membership of the students association of the faculty of political science at the University of Leipzig. Elsenhans currently still resides, lectures and researches in Leipzig.