Moritz Föllmer studied history, philosophy and constitutional law at the universities of Bonn, Göttingen and Paris-Sorbonne. After completing his PhD at the Humboldt University Berlin, he was Wissenschaftlicher Assistent at the same institution, visiting scholar at the University of Chicago, as well as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. He joined the University of Amsterdam in September 2011 as Associate Professor of Modern History.
His second book, entitled Individuality and Modernity in Berlin: Self and Society from Weimar to the Wall, has recently been published with Cambridge University Press. It traces the history of individuality in Berlin from the late 1920s to the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. He contends that the demand to be recognised as an individual was central to metropolitan society, as were the spectres of risk, isolation and loss of agency. This was true under all five regimes of the period, through economic depression, war, occupation and reconstruction. The quest for individuality could put democracy under pressure, as in the Weimar years, and it could be satisfied by a dictatorship, as was the case in the Third Reich. Liberal democracy only prevailed in the course of the 1950s, when it was able to offer superior opportunities for consumerism.
In the foreseeable future, he will continue to pursue his interest in individuality and subjectivity within the context of twentieth-century Germany and Europe. Further articles on the Weimar and Nazi periods are under preparation. With Mark B. Smith of the University of Leeds, he is also co-organising a series of workshops and conference panels on European urban life since 1945.