Andreas Wimmer – Columbia University

Date/Time
Date(s) - 01/26/18
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Hosted by
Northwestern University


Andreas Wimmer – Columbia University (Cosponsored with CHSS Workshop)

Northwestern University

Friday, January 26, 2018 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Andreas Wimmer’s research brings a long term and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how individuals draw ethnic and racial boundaries between themselves and others, and which kinds of political conflicts and war results from these processes. Using new methods and data, he continues the old search for historical patterns that repeat across contexts and times. He has pursued this agenda across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science, and social anthropology and through various styles of inquiry: field research in Oaxaca (Mexico) and Iraq, comparative historical analysis, quantitative cross-national research, network studies, formal modeling, the analysis of large-scale survey data, as well as policy oriented research.

Wimmer’s articles and books have won a series of awards, including from the mathematical, political, comparative historical, theory, rationality and society, peace and war, global and transnational, and cultural sociology sections of the American Sociological Association (see CV). He was honored with a Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association as well as with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from McGill University. The New York Times, Financial Times, BBC World News, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Westdeutsche Zeitung, NRC Handelsblad, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education have cited his publications. His recent work has resulted in two new books:
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Analyzing datasets that cover the entire world over long stretches of time, Waves of War traces the emergence of the nation-state, its subsequent proliferation across the globe, and the resulting waves of international war and domestic conflict. To understand these processes, the book highlights changing configurations of political power and legitimacy–the shift from imperial or dynastic principles to the nationalist ideal of self-rule. Nation-state formation and the ensuing ethno-political struggles over the state are responsible for a large number of civil and international wars fought over the past 200 years

To advance the boundary making approach to ethnicity and race, Ethnic Boundary Making introduces a series of epistemological principles, theoretical stances, research designs, and modes of interpretation that allow to disentangle ethnic from other processes of group formation. The empirical chapters comparatively explain why some ethnic boundaries structure the allocation of resources, incite political passion, and represent primary aspects of individual identity while others don’t. Paying systematic attention to such empirical variation helps to avoid both an unreflected essentialism and an exagerated constructivism

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