Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Markovits honored with German Order of Merit

Andrei Markovits, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies, received the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany from Consul General Onno Hueckmann on Wednesday.

  Andrei Markovits

The award, given at a ceremony at the German Consulate General in Chicago, is one of the highest distinctions Germany bestows upon private individuals, whether German or foreign.

The Order of Merit, instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss, is the only honor that may be awarded in all fields of endeavor to individuals for services to the nation. The award recognizes achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.

"Your mentoring and support of German academics who come to the U.S. to do research is unparalleled," Hueckmann said during the ceremony. "You have shown this steadfast commitment to your fellow colleagues throughout your career and across the many institutions with which you have been affiliated.

"Your service to furthering the world's understanding of Germany is extraordinary. You have been a beacon for all things German, not only in the American Midwest but throughout the U.S. and across the globe. With your outstanding dedication as a scholar and a teacher, you have fostered the German-American friendship and understanding."

Markovits, who also holds appointments as a professor of political science, Germanic languages and literatures, and sociology, said he considered the award "a great honor."

He is the author and editor of many books, scholarly articles, conference papers, book reviews and newspaper contributions in English and many foreign languages on topics as varied as German and Austrian politics, anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, social democracy, social movements, the European right and the European left. Markovits also has worked extensively on comparative sports culture in Europe and North America.

His latest book on that subject is entitled "Sport: Motor und Impulssystem für Emanzipation und Diskriminierung" (Picus Verlag, 2011). Written in German, the book delineates Markovits' long-held arguments on sports in North America and Europe, particularly in terms of their representing forces for emancipation, meritocracy and progress, as well as discrimination, prejudice and exclusion.

Markovits was born in Romania and speaks several languages including German, Hungarian, Romanian, French and English. After coming to the United States, he earned five degrees at Columbia University in New York, including a doctorate in political science.

He was a research associate at Harvard University and taught at Wesleyan University, Boston University and the University of California, Santa Cruz before coming to U-M in 1999.