Matthew Specter is a historian of modern European intellectual history and 20th century global and international history. Trained in German intellectual history at Brown and Duke Universities, his first book Habermas: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge, 2010) examined the career of Germany’s leading post-1945 philosopher and public intellectual from historical and legal-philosophical perspectives. It was translated into multiple European languages and reviewed in The New Republic. One of the first biographies of Habermas in English, the book argued for an intimate connection between postwar German politics, constitutional law, and political philosophy. His most recent book, The Atlantic Realists: Empire and International Political Thought Between Germany and the United States will appear from Stanford University Press in February 2022. Working at the intersection of Euro-Atlantic intellectual history, international relations, and political theory, Matthew has published in leading journals such as Modern Intellectual History, History and Theory, Central European History, German Politics and Society, and Constellations as well as in the Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt (2017). His research has been supported by the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, the American Council on Germany, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of the German Social Democratic Party, the Institute for the Human Sciences in Vienna, the Institute for Cultural Sciences in Vienna, the Center for International and Global Studies at Duke University, the Center for the Humanities at Wesleyan University, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Institute for European Studies at UC Berkeley.
Matthew received his Ph.D. in History from Duke in 2005 and taught at George Mason University until 2008. From 2008-17 he was assistant, and then tenured Associate Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University where he taught modern Germany, the Holocaust, European intellectual history, and human rights history to BA and MA students. In 2014, he was appointed one of five editors at History and Theory, the leading international journal in historical theory. Since 2018 he has been a Lecturer at UC Berkeley, in Political Economy, Global Studies, and History, as well as at Stanford University and Santa Clara University.
Ph.D. Duke (2006)