Ralph Gustav Dahrendorf, Baron Dahrendorf, KBE, FBA (1 May 1929 – 17 June 2009) was a German-British sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and liberal politician. A class conflict theorist, Dahrendorf was a leading expert on explaining and analyzing class divisions in modern society, and is regarded as "one of the most influential thinkers of his generation." In his lifetime, Dahrendorf published multiple articles and books. His most notable works include Class Conflict in Industrial Society (1959) and Essays in the Theory of Society (1968).
During his political career, he was a Member of the German Parliament, Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Foreign Office of Germany, European Commissioner for External Relations and Trade, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Education and Member of the British House of Lords, after he was created a life peer in 1993. He was subsequently known in the United Kingdom as Lord Dahrendorf.
He served as director of the London School of Economics and Warden of St Antony's College at the University of Oxford. He also served as a Professor of Sociology at a number of universities in Germany and the United Kingdom, and was most recently a Research Professor at the Berlin Social Science Research Center.