Rolf Torstendahl

Professor emeritus vid Historiska institutionen

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 A
Box 628
751 26 UPPSALA
Akademiska meriter:


Denna text finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

ROLF TORSTENDAHL Curriculum vitae

Born 9 Jan. 1936, in Jönköping, Sweden


Matriculation examination from Eksjö gymnasium 1954; Fil. kand. examen, Uppsala University, 1956; Fil. ämbetsexamen, Uppsala University, 1957; Fil. licentiatexamen, Uppsala University, 1961; Fil. doktorsgrad, (doctor's degree) Uppsala University, 1964 (awarded with the title of docent)


Lecturer, Department of History, Uppsala University 1964-1967; Associate Professor, Department of History, Uppsala university 1968-1978; Professor (Sven Warburg Professor) of History, University of Stockholm 1978-1980; Professor of History, Uppsala University, 1981-2000; Emeritus professor of Uppsala University 2001- ;-- Director of The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (SCASSS), 1985-1990; Head of the Department of History, Uppsala University, 1993-1997; Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Uppsala University, 1994-1999

Academies and Learned Societies and Dr h.c.:

Member of Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskapssamfundet (The Royal Society of Scholarship), Uppsala, 1982; Member of Kungl. Vitterhets, Historie och Antikvitetsakademien (The Royal Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities), Stockholm, 1986; Member of Academia Europaea, Cambridge and London, 1989; Member of Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi (The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters), Oslo, 1989; Honorary member of the Ural Division of the Russian Academy of Science, Ekaterinburg, 1995; Member of Vetenskapssocieteten (the Society of Science), Uppsala, 1997; Doctor honoris causa at the Russian State University for the Humanities, RGGU, March 2006.

Attached as Guest Researcher to Foreign Institutes:

Letterstedt scholar at the Department of History, Oslo University, March 1974; Fellow at the Maison des sciences de l'homme, March 1983; Fellow at the Historische Kommission, Berlin, Oct. 1984; Attached to the Indian Institute of Public Administration, March 1991, February 1992; Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla, April 1991; Fellow at The Institute of Advanced Study (Wissenschaftskolleg), Berlin, Oct.-Dec. 1992; Guest researcher at the British Academy, March 1993; Guest researcher at The Australian Academy of the Humanities, Aug.-Sept. 1998; Fellow at SCASSS, Sept. 1999 – June 2000

Major finished research projects (with funding):

Natural scientists and engineers in the industrial revolution in Sweden (with Gunnar Eriksson and Nils Runeby), funded by RJ; Bureaucratisation in Sweden and Europe after 1850 (with Karl Molin and Thorsten Nybom) funded by RJ and HSFR; Professions in theory and history, funded by FRN, HSFR and RJ via SCASSS; State theory and state history, funded by FRN, HSFR and RJ via SCASSS; The social organisation of iron-making in Sweden and Russia in comparative perspective (with V. Alekseyev), funded by HSFR and KVA; Policy-making in Sweden and the two German states 1945-1989 (with Bo Stråth and in collaboration with German researchers), funded by HSFR; State transformation in Russia and Sweden 1890-1917 (with Natalia Selunskaya, Moscow State University MGU), funded by STINT; Democratic culture and institutions in Russia (with Axel Hadenius and Anders Fogelklou, the historical part in collaboration with Natalia Selunskaya, MGU), funded by Kulturvetenskapliga donationen, The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.


Denna text finns inte på svenska, därför visas den engelska versionen.

My research is presently focussed on two themes. The first is the one which has been the object of several publications from my side during the last decade, dealing with history-writing, both from the perspective of the history of historiography in Europe during the last two centuries, and from the analytical perspctive of what constitutes new knowledge in the discipline of history. I have developed it both sides of it in my book The Rise and Propagation of Historical Professionalism (New York & London: Routledge, 2015), and continue working with them.

The second theme of my ongoing research is the profession of engineers in Western Europe from 1850 to 1980. The research work is almost completed and a book developing the theme is under preparation. By means of a comparative approach of engineers and technical education in several countries (Britain, France Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) the book is concerned with the formation of a profession comprising those engaged in engineering, and when and how this formation occurred. One crucial condition for the professional ambitions was technological education, which differed in the countries compared. I try to develop both the diverse job aspects of the engineers and the importance of their organisations. As regards the latter they had from their beginnings in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century quite different forms in different countries in Western Europe, but in many respects they handled the same problems, and in the twentieth century they have also come to cooperate, directly and through some new organisations of organisations.

The twentieth century has solved series of problems to the professionalism of engineers (such as international validity of diplomas in engineering education) but it has also accentuated the competition between engineers and other groups on the labour market (such as economists). In spite of such competition the number of engineers has grown enormously, and seem to have accelerated its growth. The labour market has swallowed increasing amounts of engineers, but perhaps - I discuss this explicitly - there is a decline in the standing of engineers during the latter half of the twentieth century.

In the forthcoming book I also discuss matters concerning the responsibiity of engineers (collectively or individually) for the development of technology and its general outcome (positive for welfare and dangerous in the hands of authoritarian states) as well as technical disasters, minor ones and such with wide consequences like the nuclear ones.


Urval av publikationer

Senaste publikationer

Alla publikationer




Rolf Torstendahl