Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

Global Studies @ Weissman Presents
Author, Professor Aristide Zolberg

A photo of the author Aristide R. Zolberg is Walter A. Eberstadt Professor of political science and historical studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He was born in Brussels in 1931, survived Nazi persecution, and emigrated to the United States in 1948, where he became self-supporting at age 16. He is married to the sociologist Vera L. Zolberg, who also teaches at the New School.

After attending Columbia University and Boston University, he served in the U.S. Army in 1955-56, and  received his Ph. D. in political science at the University of Chicago in 1961 with a specialization in African studies. He initially taught at the University of Wisconsin, then at the University of Chicago, and moved to the Graduate Faculty of the New School in New York in 1983. In between, he held visiting appointments at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (“Sciences Po”), the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the College de France, all in Paris, as well as the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna,  the Salzburg Seminar, and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Oslo). 

Zolberg is the author of many books, starting with One-Party Government in the Ivory Coast (Princeton University Press, 1961; second edition, 1967), Creating Political Order: The Party-States of West Africa (1966; reprinted 1985); both were based on extensive field work in sub-Saharan Africa. After a decade of African research, he broadened his scope to the study of ethnic conflict, state-formation,  and international migration; the results include Escape from Violence: The Refugee Crisis in the Developing World, co-authored with Astri Suhrke and Sergio Aguayo (1989) and most recently A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA; and Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2006 - paperback, 2008) and a collection of essays, How Many Exceptionalisms? Explorations in Comparative Macroanalysis Temple University Press (2008). In 1981, the French government awarded him the Palmes Académiques in recognition of distinguished service to French Higher Education.

From 1983 to 1991, he held the University-in-Exile Chair established by the City of Berlin at the Graduate Faculty of the New School. In 2008, he was presented with the “distinguished scholar” award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Studies section of the International Studies Association. He is a frequent lecturer in the United States and various European countries, in French and in English. He is an amateur photographer and enjoys cooking.

The City University of New York