Darren M O'Byrne

Dr Darren O'Byrne


Darren is a historian of modern Germany. His research explores German politics, government, and administration from 1871 to the present, as well as the immediate and lasting effects of regime-change in the twentieth century.

Darren M O'Byrne

Darren O’Byrne received his PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Politics and a Master’s Degree in the History of International Relations, both from University College Dublin. During his doctoral studies he was a DAAD research fellow at Berlin’s Humboldt University, and a visiting fellow at the Technical University in Berlin. Since receiving his PhD he has held a visiting fellowship at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, and taken up a position as a Research Associate and Affiliated Lecturer in Modern German History at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics.

Darren is working on his first book, an interdisciplinary study of the civil service in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Using models from political science and organisational sociology, the book argues that the administration functioned similarly under both democracy and dictatorship, and that the factors informing civil servants’ readiness to implement ambitious social policies after World War I and policies of genocide during World War II were often similar. As such, it provides an alternative interpretation to those emphasising ideology as a determinant of civil servants’ actions. Alongside this, he is working on German occupation policy in World War II, bureaucratic responses to regime-change throughout the twentieth century, and a political history of the year 1932.

Together with Professor Chris Young, Darren is also working on sports and sports journalism in inter-war Germany. An essay on the funding for the 1936 Olympic Games is forthcoming, as is a book on Willy Meisl, an Austrian-Jewish sports journalist who revolutionised sports writing and commentary.

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