HÄNNI HAS PRODUCED A PROLIFIC PUBLICATION PROFILE AND A GLOBAL NETWORK OF COLLABORATORS. HE HAS LED MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS ON THE HISTORICAL STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE SERVICES, TERRORISM, AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE, DEMONSTRATING HIS ABILITY TO SHAPE STATE OF THE ART RESEARCH.
Hänni received a major grant from FernUni Schweiz (“Distance Learning University Switzerland”) to study past and present schools of political historiography and inquire how global political history of modern societies can be taught, studied, and written. He used the results to produce the first German-language textbook on Political History, which will be distributed throughout German speaking classrooms and university networks.
The textbook (currently in peer review) is created as a systematic, organizing, and synthesizing overview for students, lecturers, and researchers.
Terrorism in the Cold War
Vol. 1: State Support in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Sphere of Influence
Vol. 2: State Support in the West, Middle East and Latin America
Edited with Dr. Thomas Riegler & Dr. Przemyslaw Gasztold
Hänni led an ambitious research effort aiming for a fresh and systematic assessment of the relations between states and terrorist groups during the Cold War. Together with Dr. Thomas Riegler (Vienna) and Dr. Przemyslaw Gasztold (Warsaw), he invited more than 20 scholars across Europe and the United States to contribute an original analysis of the relations between their country of expertise and terrorist actors. The collected articles present an in-depth assessment of the nature, motives, and effects of the relations between terrorist organizations and individual states of the Soviet bloc, NATO, as well as neutral countries such as Switzerland and Austria.
The results and analysis of this comprehensive body of research were published as two volumes in September 2020 by the renowned British publishing house Bloomsbury/I.B. Tauris.
“Now, classified documents discovered in archives in eastern Europe reveal a different picture: not of a master terrorist working hand in glove with ruthlessly efficient regimes to launch attacks in the west, but of an arrogant, demanding, and unreliable terrorist entrepreneur who manipulated the anxieties of insecure decision-makers and the ignorance of security officials from the Baltic to the Black Sea until they finally ran out of patience.”Referenced by Jason Burke, The GuardianHow cold war spymasters found arrogance of Carlos the Jackal too hot to handle
Über Grenzen hinweg: Transnationale Politische Gewalt im 20. Jahrhundert
“Across Borders: Transnational Political Violence in the 20th Century”
Edited with Dr. Daniel Rickenbacher & Thomas Schmutz
Until recently, historians have rarely analyzed extreme political violence through a transnational lens. Hänni developed a comprehensive theoretical framework that builds on History, Political Science, Sociology and International Relations paradigms to study transnationality as a key aspect of modern political violence. This reconceptualization of transnationality is a methodological innovation that can be applied to other forms of transnational activities, including counterterrorism and anti-radicalization measures. To test his theory, he invited an international group of scholars to apply this framework to diverse case studies from the 20th century.
The resulting book was published in 2020 by Campus, a leading German academic publishing house.
Terrorismus als Konstrukt: Schwarze Propaganda, politische Bedrohungsängste und der Krieg gegen den Terrorismus in Reagans Amerika
“Terrorism as a Construct: Black Propaganda, Political Fears and the War against Terrorism in Reagan’s America”
Building on his PhD research, this book was groundbreaking in offering the first application of theoretical and methodological thoughts developed by critical terrorism scholars to primary source-based historiography. It analyzes the production of scientific, journalistic, and political knowledge on terrorism in the United States during the presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) and, among other insights, shows how this knowledge rationalized militarization of US counter-terrorism policy in the mid-1980s.
The 2018 book was published as part of the prestigious series “Krieg und Frieden” (“War and Peace”) with German publishing house Klartext Verlag.
The author meticulously outlines the various interests, links, and backgrounds of his impressively large ensemble of actors and, in doing so, corroborates his discourse analytical findings. It is one of the many strengths of this dissertation to interconnect the analysis of published texts [on terrorism] with the granularly reconstructed internal affairs of the American executive branch and international intelligence circles.H-Soz-KultLeading German-language portal for academic reviews
...an important and very readable book that stimulates readers to question established assumptions.Dr. Thomas RieglerEsteemed terrorism historian
[Hänni’s work] enriches our understanding of the nature of the Cold War and, in particular, the role of private and non-state Western actors as important participants in it.Dr. Richard SaulInternational Review of Social History