Mitchell Cohen

Phone: (646) 312-4419
Location: VC 5-279


Prof. Mitchell Cohen specializes in 19th and 20th century political theory and contemporary European and Middle Eastern politics, and teaches courses on political thought, American Government, comparative government, and politics and literature.

Prof. Cohen won the prestigious 2010-11 Writing Fellowship of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the CUNY Graduate Center and was CUNY Writing Fellow. In recent years he has lectured at Stanford, University of Wisconsin (Madison) and he also gave the Gold Endowment Distinguished Lecture on "Anti-Semitism" at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

He has also been National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a visiting professor at Stanford, and has guest lectured at numerous European universities and intellectual institutions, including in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. He has been named Editor Emeritus of "Dissent," one of the country’s most prestigious political journals. He co-edited it for 18 years and continues to serve on its editorial board. In 1989 he travelled to Eastern Europe to cover the collapse of communism for its pages. He has also been elected a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.

Prof. Cohen is the author of The Wager of Lucien Goldmann (1994), a study of a prominent French political thinker, and Zion and State (1987; French translation, 1990), which won Baruch College's Presidential Scholarship Achievement Award. He has also edited Princeton Readings in Political Thought (1995) and Rebels and Reactionaries: An Anthology of Great Political Stories (1992). In addition to American scholarly journals, he has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Times Literary Supplement (London), Musik und Asthetik, Les Temps Modernes (Paris), Reset (Rome), MicroMega (Rome), Aesthetik and Kommunikation (Berlin), Etcetera (Mexico City), Nexus (the Netherlands), and Davar (Tel Aviv). He is "American Correspondant" of Raisons Politiques (Paris Institute of Politics) and is a member of the editorial board of Jewish Social Studies.

Prof. Cohen, a native New Yorker, lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.


Contemporary Political Ideologies (Pol. 3337)
Modern Political Thought (Pol 3336)
Early Political Thought (Pol. 3335)
American Government (Pol. 1101)
Topics in Politics and Literature (Pol. 3201) 

Selected Publications

"Ghosts of the American Past?", forthcoming in Dutch in "Nexus" (The Nexus Institute and the University of Tilburg, the Netherlands).

"T.H. Marshall on 'Citizenship and Social Class: A REconsideration," (London: Policy-Network on Line/Series on Classics in Social Demoratic Thought, Summer 2010; and forthcoming in "Dissent," Fall 2010.

"Life and Fetters: Chereau, Janacek, Dostoevsky," in "Dissent," Summer 2010.

"A Nation Not Quite Like Others," in "Times Literary Supplement," London, February 26, 2010.

"Should We Trust Intellectuals?", in "Common Knowledge" (Duke University Press), Winter 2010, pp. 7-21.

"What is to be Learned?: Thinking about 1989," in "Dissent," Fall 2009. 

 "To the Dresden Barricades: The Genesis of Richard Wagner's Political Ideas," in T. S. Grey, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Wagner (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 47-63.

“Socialist Zionism” (published in Hebrew), in Yimiyahu Yovel and Menachem Brinker, eds., New Jewish Time: The Encyclopedia of Jewish Culture in the Secular Age, Vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Keter, 2007).

"France: Red Rose, Blue Grip," Dissent, Fall 2007, pp. 19-26.

“'A Roasted Cat will never make a Hare-pie': Thoughts on Political Opera,” Published in German: “Aus einer gebratener Katze wird doch kein Hasenpastete”: Überlegungen zum politschen oper,” Musik und Asthetik, July 2006, pp. 51-66; in French as “Réflexions sur l’opéra politique,” Raisons Politiques, May 2004, pp. 41-58.   

"In the Murk of It: Iraq Reconsidered," in Thomas Cushman, ed., A Matter of Principle (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005), pp. 76-92. 

"A Thought Experiment for the Left," Dissent, Summer 2004, Vol. 51 Issue 3, pp. 52-60.

"Auto-Emancipation and Antisemitism," Jewish Social Studies, Fall 2003, Vol. 10 Issue 1, pp. 69-77.

"An Empire of Cant," Dissent, Summer 2002, Vol. 49 Issue 3, pp. 17.


Princeton Reading in Political Thought (as co-editor) (Princeton University Press, 1996).

The Wager of Lucien Goldmann (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).

Zion and State  (Columbia University Press, 1992 [First edition: Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987; French trans. Paris: Editions la Devouverte, 1990]).

Rebels and Reactionaries: An Anthology of Political Short Stories from Hawthorne through Today, Edited with an introduction by Mitchell Cohen (New York: Dell Books, 1992).

The City University of New York