Prof. Dr. Korinna Schönhärl



Goethe-Universität Frankfurt

am Main


Historical Seminar (PF 28)


Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1


D-60629 Frankfurt am Main

(for parcels only: D-60323)


Room IG 3.456


+49 69 798-32616


+49 69 798-32614


Consultation hour           

For an appointment please contact me via email.



Paderborn University                                     

Since October 2021

Professor in Modern History at University Paderborn.


  • Since October 2021 Professor of Modern History at University Paderborn
  • April  2021 until September 2021 Subsitute Professor in Modern History at University Paderborn.
  • October 2020 until March 2021 Subsitute Professor at KIT Karlsruhe (History of Culture and Technology)
  • 2018/19 and 2019/20 Invited professor at University Lumiére Lyon 2, France
  • Since March 2018 leader of the Heisenberg-Project: "International History of Tax Morale" at Goethe-University Frankfurt
  • Nov. 2016 Postdoctoral lecture qualification at University Duisburg-Essen. Manuskript: "Financers Entering New Grounds: European Banks and Greece in the 19th Century", awarded with "Humanities international" special award spring 2019.
  • Oct. 2016 until Sep. 2017 research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in History, Munich
  • April 2009 to February 2018 Assistant Professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Historical Institute, Chair of Economic and Social History, Prof. Dr. Ute Schneider
  • Thesis: "Knowledge and Visions. Theory and Politics of the Economists in the Stefan George Circle." Recipient of the Friedrich Sperl Award of Goethe University Frankfurt
  • 2005-2008: Research assistant at Goethe University Frankfurt in the collaborative research centre "Culture of Knowledge and Social Change"
  • 2003-2005: Grammar school teacher on probation: Second State Examination
  • Summer 2003: Graduation as teacher for secondary school: First State Examination
  • 1999-2000: Erasmus-Studies at Aristotle's University Thessalonica, Greece
  • 1997-2003: Studies of History, German Language and German Literature at Regensburg University

Research Interests

  • Social, Cultural and Economic History of the 19th and 20th Century
  • History of Economic Thought
  • Banking History/Financial History
  • Historical Methodology
  • History of Tax Morale
project headergrey

Research Projects & Activities

  • International cultural history of tax morale - Heisenberg Research Project. The project “International cultural history of tax morale” thus examines the evolution of norms and values concerning the payment of taxes between the 1940s and 1980s in three different types of tax systems: the West German, the Spanish and the US American.
  • Money and International Politics from the antiquity to the 20th century. Since antiquity money plays an important role in inter-state relations. It is - alongside diplomatic negotiations, laws and authority - the most important tool in the enforcement of interests between states. The fourth session of the working group International History of the VHD (Vereins der Historikerinnen und Historiker Deutschlands), which is to be held on March 18 and 19, 2021 in the Money Museum of the German Federal Bank in Frankfurt am Main, will therefore adress the Issue of Money in the international relatvions from the antiquity to the 20th century. Click here for more informations and the conference programme (german).
  • DFG-Network: Doing Debt. Praxeology of sovereign debt in the long 20th century (Julia Rischbieter and Stefanie Middendorf). The network studies practices of sovereign debt in historical perspective. It will focus on concrete procedures, situational decisions, and actor relations within politics of debt throughout the long twentieth century, and will put special emphasis on their significance for the negotiation of shifting boundaries between "the state" and "the market." 
  • DFG-Network: Economy and Morals. Normativity and Economic Practices in a long 20th century: Knowledge, Objects, Agency (Benjamin Möckel, Oxford). Economy and morality are often perceived as separate spheres or antipodes. The network puts into question this opposition. We propose to analyze the concept of morality from a historical perspective, and to apply it to the analysis of economic systems, discourses and practices. Our topics of research range from critiques of capitalism and alternative modes of consumption to praises of the free market. They include theoretical discourses as well as everyday interactions and embodied practices. 
  • Executive comittee of the working Group for International History of the Association of German Historians More information on the working group can be found here.
  • Member of the Advisory board of the Department for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the State Library Munich. The Department for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe at the State Library Munich offers multidisciplinary research literature to these areas. Its main aim is the provision of literature on a nationwide level. The cataloge is available here.
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Actual selected Publications

  • Finanzielle Netze. Die bayerisch–französische Familienbank von Eichthal und ihre Investitionspläne in Griechenland in den 1830er Jahren/ Οικονομικά δίκτυα. Η βαυαρογαλλική οικογενειακή τράπεζα των Άιχταλ και τα επενδυτικά σχέδιά της στην Ελλάδα κατά τη δεκαετία του 1830, in: Comdeg (April 2021) (in German).
  • Why does a prestigious emission house emit a loan for a peripheral state? The house of Rothschild and the Greek guaranteed loan of 1833, in: Business History 63 (2021), S. 557–573.
  • The costs of the rescue of Europe': debt and tax cultures in historical perspective with Marc Buggeln, in: H/Soz/Kult-Forum (August 2020).
  • Conciliation in Resignation: The Greek Referendum of 2015 on the Conditions of the Euro-Group, in: Südosteuropa Mitteilungen 60 (2020) 1-2, 67–82 (in German).
  • “How deeply related to antiquity is the heart of this people” – Cultural brokers and their strategies to communicate the unknown, in: Historical Journal (Historische Zeitschrift) 310 (2020) 2, 285–305 (in German).
  • Tax Morale in West Germany after World War II. A discourse analytical reconstruction, in: Leviathan 47 (2019) 2, 169-191 (in German).
  • “The imperative of scrounging, cheating and working the system”: Discourses on tax morale in Western Germany at the beginning of the 1980s, in: History in Science and Teaching (GWU) 70 (2019) 11/12, 678-694.
  • Socially Responsible Investment in the 19th century: A Greek case study, in: Vierjahresschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte/Journal of Social and Economic History 106 (2019) 2, 167-190 (in English).
  • Emotions in decision-making processes: The family bank Eichthal and its investment decisions for Greece in the 19th century, in: Entreprises et histoire 91 (2018) 2, 14-28 (in English).
  • Imagined markets. European bankers in Greece in the 19th century, Munich 2017) (Habilitation; in German; English translation in preparation).

Here you can find the book publications with reviews.

The publication list sorted by topics as pdf.


International Cultural History of Tax Morale

Scandals like the ones about Apple´s tax avoidance in Ireland, about the “Paradise” or the “Panama” papers regularly evoke public indignation. Why exactly do those who can avoid doing so not pay their taxes honestly? Is it really the case that they do not? Real tax payment behaviour is difficult to measure. Since the beginning of the 20th century scientists have developed methodologies to measure tax evasion. Even today the results are far from being satisfactory: there is always a high dark figure, and the results are seldom comparable. All that is clear is that tax payers have avoided and evaded taxes since the beginning of measurements, and that this has not changed.

Avoiding these methodological difficulties, empirical social sciences follow a different approach: they examine taxpayers´ attitudes towards their tax duties, which can be measured in public surveys: “Can it be justified to cheat on taxes if you have a chance?” (World Values Survey). Answers differ considerably, depending on age, gender, education, the weight of tax burdens experienced, perceptions of tax justice and many other factors. However, one aspect is not taken into consideration: do all interviewees in different regions worldwide understand the question in the same manner? Results differ strongly between countries, suggesting that this is not the case and that norms and values concerning tax payment behaviour are culturally determined and historically developed.

Analysing historical changes in tax morale is therefore a fruitful field of historical research: How did norms and values concerning the payment of taxes evolve and how did they change over time? The “Sociology of Morality”, engaged in the examination of the evolution and change of moral systems (e.g. Gabriel Abend: The Moral Background) provides methodological inspiration. On this basis, approaches from conceptual history and discourse analysis can be combined. The project “International cultural history of tax morale” thus examines the evolution of norms and values concerning the payment of taxes between the 1940s and 1980s in three different types of tax systems: the West German, the Spanish and the US American.

More Informations on the project.

4th International Conference in Economic and Social History (1)

4th International Conference in Economic and Social History

The Greek Economic History Association in collaboration with the Department of History of the Ionian University, organizes the 4th International Conference in Economic and Social History. The Conference will address the theme “Varieties of Capitalism in the Mediterranean (18th-20th century)” and will be hosted by the Ionian University in Corfu on 23-26 September 2021.

Session: “Economic and political liberalization: foreign debt in the early liberal age (1820-1840)”  Korinna Schönhärl zusammen mit Juan Simal (Madrid)

Lecture: Revolution and creditworthiness? The case of Greece in the 1830s (Korinna Schönhärl)

More Informations: 4th International Conference in Economic and Social History - Varieties of Capitalism in the Mediterranean (18th-20th c.)