Sir Christopher Clark awarded honorary doctorate

27 May 2024
World-renowned historian recognised for contributions to international relations
Renowned historian and distinguished alumnus Sir Christopher Clark was today awarded an honorary doctorate, conferred by the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO.

Sir Christopher Clark has been admitted to the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) in recognition of his exceptional contribution to international relations and the study of history.

A graduate of the University of Sydney and one of the world’s most distinguished historians, he received his PhD at the University of Cambridge – at which in 2014, he became the twenty-second Regius Professor of History.

Sir Christopher is regarded internationally as a leading historian of nineteenth-century Germany and continental Europe. His writings have brought a new understanding of the modern relevance of studying the causes of war, particularly the First World War and the European revolutions of 1848. He is widely acclaimed as a German history commentator and often appears on German and British television giving analysis of Modern and historical politics.

Three people in academic regalia in front of a shelf

Professor Azrini Wahidin, Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences (left), Sir Christopher Clark, and Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott (right). 

Upon conferring the honorary doctorate to Sir Christopher, Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO highlighted how his work as a historian has greatly enhanced our understanding of the factors that lead to conflict. 

“Sir Christopher is a truly outstanding historian of great academic eminence whose writings have contributed pivotally to the thinking of the Western world about the combination of factors that led to the First World War, and which remain profoundly relevant to the analysis of conflict causation and prevention in our modern world.

“His widely praised and award-winning books represent scholarship of the highest order. The critical reception of his best-selling history of Prussia, Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600–1947, gave him a public profile that reached well beyond the academic world. It won the 2010 German Historians' Prize, making Sir Christopher the first non-German to receive this award.

"His two most recent and extraordinary books on the causes of conflicts have shaped and continue to shape our world and have absolutely cemented his international reputation as a leading historian of our times.”

Sir Christopher is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was a member of the Mannheim-based Prussian History Working Group and the Prussian Historical Commission and became a senior advisory member of the London-based German Historical Institute in 2010.

“Sir Christopher is a truly outstanding historian of great academic eminence
Professor Mark Scott, Vice-Chancellor and President

Beyond his academic achievements, Sir Christopher’s works have earned him many awards and accolades, including the Wolfson History Prize, the History Book Award of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and the General History Prize of the NSW Premier’s History Awards; the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History; the Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, and the Laura Shannon Prize; which is awarded annually by the University of Notre Dame.

Both the British and the German Governments have honoured him for his service to Anglo-German relations. In 2010, he received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and was knighted on the recommendation of the British Foreign Secretary in the 2015 Birthday honours.

Juliet Rayner

Media and PR Advisor Assistant

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