Robert Fishman

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Professor
Ph.D., Yale University, 1985

Research and Teaching Interests

Comparative political sociology, cultural and historical sociology, consequences of inequality

Profile

Robert M. Fishman, Professor of Sociology and Fellow of the Kellogg and Nanovic Institutes at the University of Notre Dame, is a comparativist who works on democracy and democratic practice, politics and culture, consequences of inequality, the Euro crisis and related themes.  Prior to coming to the University of Notre Dame, Fishman was Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard University.  He has also been a visiting professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences of the Juan March Institute (Madrid) and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona).  Fishman earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University and is a member of the American Sociological Association, the American Political Science Association, the Council for European Studies and SASE.

Fishman’s articles have appeared in the American Sociological Review, World Politics, Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, Comparative Politics, Contributions to Political Economy and other scholarly journals as well as the New York Times.  His contributions to collective volumes have appeared in books dealing with the Euro, social capital theory, Weberian analysis and other themes.  Much of his current work focuses on the post 1970s divergence between Spain and Portugal, a paired comparison that offers valuable opportunities for addressing several large theoretical questions.

Fishman’s books include Democracy’s Voices, winner in 2005 of Honorable Mention for Best Book in Political Sociology, The Year of the Euro (with Anthony Messina), and Working-Class Organization and the Return to Democracy in Spain. Both Democracy’s Voices and Working-Class Organization have also been published in Spanish.  He is currently writing a book, tentatively entitled Democratic Practice: Origins of the Iberian Divide in Political Equality.   This new book analyzes differences in democratic practice and societal outcomes between “third wave” pioneers Portugal and Spain, the Iberian Peninsula neighbors which, through nearly polar opposite pathways of change, initiated the late twentieth century’s worldwide expansion of democratic rule.  This work takes the juxtaposition between numerous historical and structural similarities of these neighboring societies and their major divergence after returning to democracy in the 1970s as the basis to pose a series of large theoretical questions on the functioning of democracy and the dynamics determining how well representative systems approximate the democratic goal of full political equality among citizens and attain a series of important policy objectives.

Fishman’s published papers, a selection of which appears below, include theoretical analyses – differentiating between states and regimes in democratization and critiquing the concept of social capital – as well as methodological work on the Weberian approach to social science and on the rationale for studying labor movements from the perspective of workplace leaders.  Fishman has also published papers on European integration and on sociological determinants of priestly vocations as well as other themes.     

 Fishman is currently writing a book analyzing differences in democratic practice and societal outcomes between “third wave” pioneers Portugal and Spain, the Iberian Peninsula neighbors which, through nearly polar opposite pathways of change, initiated the late twentieth century’s worldwide expansion of democratic rule.  This work takes the juxtaposition between numerous historical and structural similarities of these neighboring societies and their major divergence after returning to democracy in the 1970s as the basis to pose a series of large theoretical questions on the functioning of democracy and the dynamics determining how well representative systems approximate the democratic goal of full political equality among citizens.

Curriculum Vitae

Fishman CV.pdf

Contact

Phone: (574) 631-8531
Fax: (574) 631-9238
Office: 230 Hesburgh Ctr
E-mail: rfishman@nd.edu

Web Page: http://www.nd.edu/~rfishman/