Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter


Dr. Ned Richardson-Little
Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

office: Am Neuen Markt 1, room 1.06
E-Mail: richardson-little [at]


since April 2024
Research associate at the ZZF Potsdam, Department V

October 2023 - March 2024
Associated Researcher at ZZF Potsdam, Department V

PI on the Volkswagen Foundation project at the University of Erfurt (2021-2023) and at the ZZF Potsdam (2023-2025): “Towards Illiberal Constitutionalism in East Central Europe: Historical Analysis in Comparative and Transnational Perspectives"

Paternity Leave (October 2021-October 2022)


Associate Researcher, SNSPA, Bucharest, Romania, “Socialist Contributions to International Law,” UEFISCDI supported project, Prof. Raluca Grosescu (PI)


Junior research group leader, University of Erfurt, VolkswagenStiftung Freigeist Project: “The Other Global Germany: Transnational Criminality and Deviant Globalization in the 20th Century”

Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. “1989 after 1989: The Fall of State-Socialism in a Global Perspective”, Leverhulme Trust supported project. Prof James Mark, Principal Investigator

Leibniz Summer Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Historical Research (ZZF), Potsdam. Official Commendation, Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History for “Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990”, Wiener Library, London.

Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize for “Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990,” German Historical Institute, Washington DC

PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the supervision of Prof. Konrad Jarausch: “Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990.”

Research grants from the American Historical Association (AHA) and GHI-Washington D.C.

Research scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Doctoral research funding from the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies – Free University of Berlin

M.A. History, McGill University (Montréal, Canada): “Imagining the Archipelago – Western Conceptions of the Gulag, 1923-2000”

B.A. (Honours) in history, McGill University (Montréal, Canada)


The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany. Cambridge University Press, 2020.


Special Issues & Edited Volumes
Everyday Transnationalism, Global Entanglements and Regimes of Mobility at the Edges of East Germany, Special Issue in Central European History (56:2, 2023), together with Lauren Stokes.

(Re-)Constituting the State and Law during the ‚Long Transformation of 1989‘ in East Central Europe. Sonderheft: Journal of Modern European History (18:3, 2020) together with Michal Kopeček.

New perspectives on Socialism and Human Rights in East-Central Europe since 1945, Special Issue in East Central Europe (46, 2019), together with Hella Dietz and James Mark.

Revisiting State Socialist Approaches to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, Special Issue in Journal of the History of International Law (21, 2019), together with Raluca Grosescu.


Articles and Book Chapters

Cold War Narcotics Trafficking, the Global War on Drugs, and East Germany’s Illicit Transnational Entanglements,” Central European History (56: 2, 2023), p. 214-235.

With Lauren Stokes, Everyday Transnationalism, Global Entanglements and Regimes of Mobility at the Edges of East Germany, Central European History (56: 2, 2023),p.159-172.

With Kerstin Brückweh, Jane Freeland, Mario Keßler und Daniel Siemens, What’s Next? Historical Research on the GDR Three Decades after German Unification, peer-reviewed forum, German History (41:2, 2023),p. 279–296.

Nehmt Menschenrechtsilliberalismus ernst! Vom Ge- und Missbrauch der Geschichte und der Schwierigkeit, diese zu schreiben, in: Johannes Haaf, Luise Müller, Esther Neuhann und Markus Wolf (eds.), Die Grundlagen der Menschenrechte: moralisch, politisch oder sozial? Nomos, 2023.

With Samuel Merrill and Leah Arlaud, Far-Right Anniversary Politics and Social Media: The Alternative for Germany’s Contestation of the East German Past on Twitter, in Memory Studies (15:6, 2022),p. 1360–1377.

Conclusion: 1989: World-Historical Fracture and a Return to More of the Same, in: Kirrily Freeman and John Munro (eds.), Reading the New Global Order: Textual Transformations of 1989. Bloosbury, 2022.

Arms Intervention: Weimar Germany, Imperial Influence and Weapons Trafficking in Warlord China, in: Journal of Modern European History (19:4, 2021), p. 510-528.

Transnational Drug Trafficking and the German Embrace of International Narcotics Law from the Kaiserreich to the Nazis, in: Dietmar Müller and Katja Naumann (eds.), Transregional Connections in the History of East Central Europe. De Gruyter, 2021.

'Hashers Don't Read Das Kapital': East Germany, Socialist Prohibition, and Global Cannabis, in: James Mills und Lucas Richert (eds.), Cannabis: Global Histories. MIT Press, 2021.

With Merrill, Samuel, Who is the Volk? PEGIDA and the Contested Memory of 1989 on Social Media, in: Samuel Merrill, Emily Keightley und Priska Daphi (eds.), Social Movements, Cultural Memory and Digital Media. Mobilising Mediated Remembrance. Palgrave, 2020.

With Michal Kopeček, Introduction: (Re-)Constituting the State and Law during the ‘Long Transformation of 1989’ in East Central Europe, in: Journal of Modern European History (18, 2020), p. 275-280.

From Tehran to Helsinki: The International Year of Human Rights 1968 and State Socialist Eastern Europe, in: Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society (1, 2019), p. 180-201.

With Hella Dietz and James Mark, New Perspectives on Socialism and Human Rights in East Central Europe since 1945, in: Socialism and Human Rights in East-Central Europe since 1945, Sonderheft: East Central Europe (46, 2019), p. 169-187.

The Failure of the Socialist Declaration of Human Rights: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Elite Defection at the End of State Socialism, in: Socialism and Human Rights in East-Central Europe since 1945, Special issue in East Central Europe (46, 2019), p. 318-341.
Human Rights Movements and the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Explaining the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, in: Lora Wildenthal und Jean Quataert (eds.), The Routledge History of Human Rights. Routledge, 2019.

Abolishing the Exploitation of Man by Man: Socialism and Human Rights since Marx, in: Annette Weinke und Dieter Gosewinkel (eds.), Menschenrechte und ihre Kritiker. Ideologien, Argumente, Wirkungen. Wallstein, 2019.

With Raluca Grosescu, Revisiting State Socialist Approaches to International Criminal and Humanitarian Law: An Introduction, in: The Socialist World and Post-War International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, Special issue in Journal of the History of International Law (21, 2019), p.161-180.

The Drug War in a Land Without Drugs: East Germany and the Socialist Embrace of International Narcotics Law,  in: The Socialist World and Post-War International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, Sonderheft: Journal of the History of International Law (21, 2019),p. 270-298.

Human Rights, Pluralism and the Democratization of East and West Germany, in: Wenzel, Harald, Jarausch, Konrad und Goihl, Karin (eds.), Different Germans, Many Germanies: New Transatlantic Perspectives. Berghahn, 2017.

Human Rights as Myth and History: Between the Revolutions of 1989 and the Arab Spring, in: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe (23, 2015), p. 151-166.

Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990, in: German Historical Institute Bulletin (56, 2015), p. 69-82.

Dictatorship and Dissent: Human Rights in East Germany in the 1970s, in: Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn (eds.), The Breakthrough: Human Rights in the 1970s. University of Philadelphia Press, 2014.

„Erkämpft das Menschenrecht“ – Sozialismus und Menschenrechte in der DDR, in: Jan Eckel and Samuel Moyn (eds.), Moral für die Welt? Menschenrechtspolitik in den 1970er Jahren. Vanderhoeck und Rupprecht, 2012.

Reviews and Conference Reports

Review: Dirk Moses, The Problems of Genocide. H-Diplo Roundtable XXIV-26 (March 27, 2023)

Review: Molly Pucci, Security Empire: The Secret Police in Communist Eastern Europe. (Yale University Press, 2020), in: German History (40:1, 2022).

Review: Craven Matthew, Sundhya Pahuja & Gerry Simpson (eds.): International Law and the Cold War. (Cambridge, 2019): in the Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht/ Heidelberg Journal of International Law (81:1, 2021), p. 265-270.

Rezension: The History of the End of History, in: Debate on Philipp Ther's Europe since 1989, in: East Central Europe (47: 2-3, 2020).

Review: Mark Hurst, British Human Rights Organizations and Soviet Dissent, 1965–1985. (London, 2016), in: Journal of Contemporary History (54, 2019), p. 243–245.

Review: Sandrine Kott, Communism Day-to-Day: State Enterprises in East German Society. (Michigan, 2014), in: H-German (2017).

Review: Kate E. Tunstall (Eds.), Self-Evident Truths? Human Rights and the Enlightenment. (New York u.a., 2012), in: Traces: The UNC-Chapel Hill Journal of History (2013), p. 291-294.

Conference Report: Human Rights / Social Rights. The Twentieth Century Predicament (02.12.2010-04.12.2010, Potsdam), in: H-Soz-u-Kult (2011).

Review: John Rodden, Dialectics, Dogmas, and Dissent: Stories from East German Victims of
Human Rights Abuse
(University Park: Pennsylvania State, 2010), in: H-Human Rights (2011).


Online Publications

Bernhard Graefrath” & “Hermann Klenner,” Legal Biographies, Socialist International Law (2021)

“Was ist los in Erfurt? The East German Past and the Demo­cratic Crisis of the Present/ Die ostdeut­sche Vergan­gen­heit und die demo­kra­ti­sche Krise der Gegen­wart,” Geschichte der Gegenwart (February 19, 2020)

“The Eastern Bloc, the Cold War and International Drug Trafficking,” Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society (August 29, 2019)

“Reefer Madness Behind the Iron Curtain,” Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society (August 22, 2019)

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in East Germany: Socialist Appropriation and Dissident Contestation, 1948-1989,” zeitgeschichte|online, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung (December 7, 2018)

Writing Human Rights into the History of State Socialism,  Imperial and Global Forum, Exeter Centre for Imperial and Global History (March 24, 2014)




Podcast with: Ted Knudsen, Brandmauerfall (The CDU and the Far-Right in Germany) Spaßbremse Podcast (Sept 28, 2023)

Podcast with: Rosamund Johnston, Episode 29: Guns and Globalization RECET Transformative Podcast (Dec 12, 2022)

Podcast with: John Paul Kleiner, The Human Rights Dictatorship Radio GDR Podcast (June 2, 2022)

Podcast with: Jill Massino, The Human Rights Dictatorship New Books Network (May 21, 2021)

Interview with: M.W. Palen, The Human Rights Dictatorship, Imperial and Global Forum (Oct 5, 2020)

Interview with: David Broder, A Human Rights Contradiction, Jacobin (Oct 3, 2020)

Interview with: Sumi Somaskanda, How Connected are Germans Really 30 Years after Reunification? KCRW Studio Berlin (Sept 16, 2020)

Podcast with: Bob Whitaker, Through the Darkest of Times, History Respawned (March 31, 2020)

Interview with: Gesche Schifferdecker, Concepts of Human Rights Are Not Unique to the West, WeberWorldCafé – Max Weber Stiftung (Sept 18, 2015)