Born in 1944, grown up in both parts of divided Berlin. After graduation from high school six months internship at a newspaper and publishing company in Boston, U.S.A. From 1965 to 1970 study of political science and modern history at Freie Universitaet Berlin. In 1970 Diploma in Political Science (equivalent to M.A.) and 1976 Dr. rer. pol.
From 1978 to 1980 German Kennedy Memorial Fellow at Harvard University, research associate at Law School and Center for East Asian Studies. From 1980 to 1998 acting director of Center for East and Southeast Asian Politics, Department of Political Science, Freie Universitaet Berlin. Retirement from the university in 2004. Since 2010 co-director of a research and documentation project on the process of German unity.
In 1987 founding member of Institute for Space Research in Berlin (the director was the German science astronaut Prof. Dr. Reinhard Furrer).
From 1989 to 1992 resident representative of a German political foundation and project director in the realm of development cooperation in the Philippines; teaching assignment at the University of the Philippines.
During the early 1990s participation in a series of workshops and conferences that did preparatory thinking for the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum.