Ph.D., Yale University, 1985
Research and Teaching Interests
Comparative political sociology, cultural and historical sociology, consequences of inequality
Robert M. Fishman is a comparativist who works on democracy and democratic practice, politics and culture, and consequences of inequality. 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. Fishman’s published papers, many of which are available on his web page, 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.
Phone: (574) 631-8531
Fax: (574) 631-9238
Office: 230 Hesburgh Ctr
Web Page: http://www.nd.edu/~rfishman/