Members of the Norbert Elias Foundation Board

From its establishment in 1983, the Board of Trustees of the Norbert Elias Foundation consisted of Johan Goudsblom, Hermann Korte, and Abram van Stolk, until the latter’s death in November 1996 (see In Memoriam). In January 1997 Stephen Mennell joined the Board. 



Johan Goudsblom


Johan Goudsblom (b.1932) – known to his friends as ‘Joop’ – was Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam from 1968 to 1997. He first met Norbert Elias at the Third World Congress of Sociology in Amsterdam in 1956. He was influential in promoting Elias’s work while it was still almost unknown in the Netherlands and abroad. He was one of the editors of Human Figurations, the Festschrift presented to Norbert Elias on his eightieth birthday in 1977. 


Besides his numerous publications in Dutch, he has also published the following books in English: Dutch Society (1967), Sociology in the Balance (a critical comparison of Elias’s ideas with those of other twentieth-century sociologists; 1977), Nihilism and Culture (1980), Fire and Civilization (1992), and The Course of Human History: Economic Growth, Social Process and Civilization (with E.L. Jones and Stephen Mennell, 1996) and Mappae Mundi: Humans and their Habitats in a Long-Term Sociolo-Ecological Perspective (with Bert Vries, 2002). With Stephen Mennell he edited The Norbert Elias Reader (Blackwell, 1998) and Norbert Elias on Civilization, Power, and Knowledge (University of Chicago Press, 1998). 

Recent interview with Johan.

Hermann Korte

Hermann Korte


Hermann Korte (b.1937) studied sociology, economics, and anthropology at the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld. From 1993 until his retirement in 2000, he was Professor of Sociology at the University of Hamburg. He was a co-editor of Human Figurations, the Festschrift presented to Norbert Elias in1977. His main subjects of research are the theory of civilising processes, urban and regional sociology, international labour migration and the management of science.


Besides numerous articles, his books include Migration und ihre sozialen Folge (1985), Stadtsoziologie (1986), Eine Gesellschaft im Aufbruch: Die Bundesrepublik in der 60er Jahren (1988), Zwischen Provinz und Metropole: Essays von der Nützlichkeit der Soziologie (1990), Einführung in der Geschichte der Soziologie (1995), and Über Norbert Elias: Das Werden eines Menschenwissenschaftlers (1997). Hermann Korte is editor of the Bochumer Vorlesungen on Norbert Elias’s theory of civilisation, Gesellschaftliche Prozesse und individuelle Praxis, as well as co-editor of the two volume standard work Das Ruhrgebiet im Industriezeitalter – Geschichte und Entwicklung. He is a former Treasurer of the German P.E.N. Club.

Stephen Mennell

Stephen Mennell


Stephen Mennell is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at University College Dublin, Ireland. He previously held posts at Monash University, Australia, and at the University of Exeter (UK). Born in Yorkshire, in the north of England, he took his degree in economics – with some sociology – at Cambridge University, and then in 1966–7 was Frank Knox Fellow in the old Department of Social Relations at Harvard University (where he studied with, among many others, Talcott Parsons).

By chance, around 1970 he was invited to translate Elias’s Was ist Soziologie? into English, and as a result he met Elias for the first time in 1972. Since the mid-1970s he has been an advocate of Elias’s work in the English-speaking world, and is General Editor of the Collected Works of Norbert Elias, now being published in 18 volumes by UCD Press. In the 1980s he investigated the civilising of appetite and the development of culinary cultures in England and France for his book All Manners of Food (1985, 2nd edn 1996). His other books include: Norbert Elias: Civilization and the Human Self-Image (1989, rev. edn Norbert Elias: An Introduction, 1992, 1998), Sociological Theory: Uses and Unities (1974, rev. edn 1980), The Course of Human History: Economic Growth, Social Process and Civilization (1996, with Eric Jones and Johan Goudsblom), and The American Civilizing Process (2007).

He and Eric Dunning translated into English Elias’s The Germans (1996), and with Joop Goudsblom he edited The Norbert Elias Reader (Blackwell, 1998) and Norbert Elias on Civilization, Power and Knowledge (University of Chicago Press, 1998). Stephen holds doctorates from the Universities of Amsterdam and Cambridge, was a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, Wassenaar (1987–8), and has been elected to membership of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Royal Irish Academy, and Academia Europaea.