Volker Rittberger, born 1941 in Karlsruhe, Germany, graduated from high school ("Gymnasium") in 1960, died at 13th november 2011. After having completed military service in 1961 he studied law and political science at the Universities of Freiburg i.Br. (Germany) and Geneva (Switzerland). In 1965 he passed the state law exam with honors. For a year and a half thereafter he served as an instructor and a research associate at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Freiburg i.Br. (Director: Professor Dr. Dr.h.c. Dieter Oberndörfer).
From 1967 till 1971 Volker Rittberger did graduate work in the Department of Political Science of Stanford University (USA) supported by various stipends and grants. He also served as a research assistant to Professors Gabriel A. Almond and Robert C. North. In 1968 he was awarded the degree of M.A. and in 1972 the degree of Ph.D. in political science.
After returning to Germany in 1971 Volker Rittberger joined the Frankfurt Peace Research Institute ("Hessische Stiftung Friedens- und Konfliktforschung") as a senior researcher. In 1973 he was appointed to the chair (full professor) of political science and international relations at the University of Tübingen (Germany), a position which he still holds today.
At the University of Tübingen, he has served repeatedly as Chairman of the Department of Political Science and was elected Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences for 1983-84 and Vice-President of the University for 1994-95.
Volker Rittberger held visiting appointments at Stanford University (1986), St. Antony's College, Oxford (1990), the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School University for Social Research, New York City (1992-93), the University of Potsdam (1993/94), Georgetown University (1997), Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (1999/2000), the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies of the European University Institute, Florence (2000), and the Social Science Research Center Berlin (2004).
In 2003 Volker Rittberger received the excellence in teaching award conferred annually by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
From 1978 till 1998 Volker Rittberger was a Special Fellow of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); and from 1996 till 2000 he served as a research coordinator for the project on "The United Nations System in the 21st Century" of the United Nations University (UNU).
His scholarly publications include more than 20 books and more than 120 journal articles and book chapters. His book publications in English are:
Volker Rittberger is the editor of "Tübinger Arbeitspapiere zur Internationalen Politik und Friedensforschung" and a co-editor of "Die Friedens-Warte. Journal of International Peace and Organization". He serves on the Advisory Committees of the scholarly journals "Global Governance", "International Relations of the Asia-Pacific" and "Journal of Peace Research".
He was elected a member of the Governing Board of the International Studies Association for 1993-1996 and a Vice-President for 1995-1996. The Danish Government appointed him a member of the Board of the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute from 1994 till 1999. He has also been a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Frankfurt Peace Research Institute since 1990 and its chairman since 1998. He has served on the U.N. Policy Advisory Panel of the German Foreign Office from 1988 till 2005. In 2001 the Federal Minister of Education and Scientific Research appointed him a member of the Board of the German Foundation for Peace Research, and in 2003 he was elected Chairman of the Board and of its Executive Committee for a five-year term. In 2008 he was re-elected for a second period as Chair. Since 2007 he is also serving on the International Board of the Bonn International Center for Conversion.
Volker Rittberger is married to Irmgard Rittberger-Rückert who is a pharmacist (ret.) and has been elected twice a member of the City Council of Tübingen. They have two sons, Rev. Frithjof Rittberger, who holds a degree in theology from the University of Tübingen and is a pastor in the Evangelical Church of Württemberg, and Berthold Rittberger, who holds a doctoral degree in politics from the University of Oxford and is a professor of political science and contemporary history at the University of Mannheim.