Herfried Münkler (born August 15, 1951) is a German political scientist. He is a Professor of Political Theory at Humboldt University in Berlin. Münkler is a regular commentator on global affairs in the German-language media and author of numerous books on the history of political ideas, on state-building and on the theory of war, such as "Machiavelli" (1982), "Gewalt und Ordnung" (1992), "The New Wars" and "Empires: The Logic of World Domination from Ancient Rome to the United States". In 2009 Münkler was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the category "Non-fiction" for Die Deutschen und ihre Mythen (Engl. "the Germans and their myths").
Münkler grew up in rural south Hesse in the early years of post-war West Germany. In 1970, he graduated from the Augustinerschule in Friedberg.
Münkler studied German, political science and philosophy at the Goethe University Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, graduating with the first Staatsexamen in 1977 and earning a Ph.D.
From 1982 Münkler was a research assistant at the department of social sciences at Goethe University. He habilitated at Frankfurt 1987 with a thesis on the topic „Staatsraison. Ein Leitbegriff der Frühen Neuzeit“ (translation: National interest. A Leitmotif in the Early Modern Age) and became professor for political science there.
In March 1992, Münkler was offered a professorship at Humboldt University Berlin, which he took up. Since then, he has been a professor for Political Theory there.