Master of Arts, University North Carolina, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy, Free University, Berlin, 1968. Hab., University Muenster, Germany, 1972.
Dr HC, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 1988. Dr HC, University Uppsala, Sweden, 2000. Dr HC, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 2003.
Assistant professor modern history University Muenster, 1968-1973. University professor social history University Bielefeld, Germany, 1973-1988. Professor history Free University, Berlin, since 1988.
Permanent fellow Wissenschaftskolleg-Institute Advanced Study, 1991-2000. President Social Science Center, 2001—2007, research professor, since 2007. Vice president Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, since 2008.
Member American Academy Arts and Sciences (honorary foreign), Academia Europaea, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (honorary), Turin Academy of Sciences (foreign).
Married Urte Kocka, 1967.