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Norman Birnbaum

Professor Emeritus

B.A., Williams; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard

Professor Birnbaum joined the Law Center in 1979 after serving as chair of the Department of Anthropology- Sociology at Amherst College and has since taught...

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Professor Birnbaum joined the Law Center in 1979 after serving as chair of the Department of Anthropology- Sociology at Amherst College and has since taught seminars in Humanities and the Law, Social Sciences and the Law, and the American Future and the Public Interest. He is very involved in politics both here and abroad, most recently serving as an advisor to the Cranston and Jackson campaigns and as a consultant to several European political parties and unions. He is a founding committee member of the Campaign for America's Future and advisor to members of the Congress and Senate. He also served as an advisor to the Kennedy Presidential Campaign, a consultant to the National Security Council, an advisor to the United Automobile Workers, the chair of the Policy Advisory Council of the New Democratic Coalition, and as a member of the editorial board of Partisan Review. His writings include The Crisis of Industrial Society and Toward A Critical Sociology. In addition, he has taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science at Oxford University and the University of Strasbourg. He spent 1986 at the Science Center and Institute of Advanced Studies in West Berlin, with travel to the USSR. He was a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in spring 1991. In 1998, he was Distinguished Fulbright Professor at the University of Bologna. His The Radical Renewal, The Politics of Ideas in Modern America, was published in 1988 by Pantheon Books. A collection of essays was published by Oxford University Press, entitled Searching For The Light (1993). Oxford University Press will publish, in the year 2000, his After Progress: A Century of American Social Reform and European Socialism. He is now at work on a cultural, political, and personal memoir. He is a member of the editorial board of The Nation and publishes frequently in the American and European press. He is chair, Scholarly Advisory Board, International Institute for Peace (Vienna).

Recent Scholarship

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Norman Birnbaum, From The Bronx To Oxford and Not Quite Back (New Academic Press forthcoming).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, War and Social Solidarity, in War and the Economy (Gregory Foster ed., forthcoming).   

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Norman Birnbaum, Taking It Big—C. Wright Mill’s Struggle with Our (Shared) Smallness, 42 Contemp. Soc. 474-481 (2013) (reviewing Stanley Aronowitz, Taking It Big: C. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals (2012)).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, American Progressivism and the Obama Presidency, 81 Pol. Q. 471-483 (2010).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, The Presidential Election of 2008, 79 Pol. Q. 344-353 (2008).   
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All Scholarship 1981 - Present

Forthcoming Works and Works in Progress

  • Norman Birnbaum, From The Bronx To Oxford and Not Quite Back (New Academic Press forthcoming).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, War and Social Solidarity, in War and the Economy (Gregory Foster ed., forthcoming).   

Books

  • Norman Birnbaum, Después del Progreso: Reformismo Social Estadounidense y Socialismo Europeo en el Siglo XX (Sara Barceló Cordón trans., Barcelona, Spain: Tusquets Editores 2003).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Nach dem Fortschritt: Vorletzte Anmerkungen zum Sozialismus (Stuttgart, F.R.G.: Deutsche Verlag-Anstalt 2003).   
  • Después del 11 de Septiembre (Norman Birnbaum & Francisco Jarauta Marión eds., Madrid, Spain: Fundación Marcelino Botín 2003).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Tarkan Karatekin & Filiz Ulgüt, Sanayi Toplumunda Kriz [The Crisis of Industrial Societies] (Istanbul, Turk.: Babil Yayinlari 2002).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Ilerleme ve Sonrasi: Yirminci Yüzyilda Amerikan Toplumsal Reformu ve Avrupa Sosyalizm [After Progress: American Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century] (Ali Tartanoglu trans., Ankara, Turk.: Dost 2001).    [BOOK]
  • Norman Birnbaum, Nach dem Fortschritt: Vorletzte Anmerkungen zum Sozialismus (Stuttgart, F.R.G.: Deutsche Verlag-Anstalt 2001).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, After Progress: American Social Reform and European Socialism in the Twentieth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2001).    [BOOK]

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

  • Norman Birnbaum, Taking It Big—C. Wright Mill’s Struggle with Our (Shared) Smallness, 42 Contemp. Soc. 474-481 (2013) (reviewing Stanley Aronowitz, Taking It Big: C. Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals (2012)).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, American Progressivism and the Obama Presidency, 81 Pol. Q. 471-483 (2010).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, The Presidential Election of 2008, 79 Pol. Q. 344-353 (2008).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, The 2006 Election and the American Future, 77 Pol. Q. 457-464 (2006).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, All Unquiet on the Western Front, Salmagundi, Fall 2004/Winter 2005, at 3-10.    [W]
  • Norman Birnbaum, 32 Contemp. Soc. 355 (2003) (reviewing Barrington Moore, Jr., Moral Purity and Persecution in History (2000)).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, An Old World Order in a New Guise, 16 Leiden J. Int'l L. 899-900 (2003).    [WWW]
  • Norman Birnbaum, Summary, 16 Leiden J. Int'l L. 929-932 (2003).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, After the Debacle, 72 Pol. Q. 146-158 (2001).   

Book Chapters and Collected Works

  • Norman Birnbaum, The Identity Divide, Europe and the United States, or the Right Question Wrongly Posed?, in Cosmopolitanism 107-117 (Kurt Almqvist & Erik Wallrup eds.,The Axel and Margaret Axson Johnson Foundation 2006).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Missing in Action: The New Deal Legacy in American Politics, in Transitions In Social Democracy 42-58 (John Callaghan & Illaria Favretto eds., Manchester, U.K.: Manchester University Press 2006).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, The Cold War and the Fate of Democratic Culture, in In Democracy's Shadow: The Secret World of National Security 63-72 (Marcus G. Raskin & A. Carl LeVan eds., New York: Nation Books 2005).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, John Kenneth Galbraith and the Uncompleted Task of Progress, in John Kenneth Galbraith and the Future of Economics 52-61 (Blandine Laperche & Dimitri Uzunidis eds., New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2005).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Ni l'Amérique ni les démocraties occidentales ne sont capables d'exporter leur démocratie, in Démythifier L'Universalité des Valeurs Américaines 164-172 (Paris: Parangon 2004).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Ni l'Amérique ni les Démocraties Occidentales ne sont Capable d'exporter Leur Démocratie, in Démythifier L'universalité des Valeurs Américaines 164-172 (Norman Birnbaum & Jean Liberman eds., Paris: Paragon 2004).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Religion and Socialism: One Again, in Henri Desroche: Un Passeur de frontières: Hommage 127-139 (Emile Poulat & Claude Ravelet eds., Paris: L'Harmattan 1997).   

Congressional Testimony

  • New Nationalisms in Europe: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 103d Cong., Sept. 21, 1994 (Statement of Norman Birnbaum) (CIS-No.: 95-S381-6).   
  • Strategic Weapons Proposals, Part 1: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 97th Cong., Nov. 9, 1981 (Statement of Norman Birnbaum) (CIS-No.: 81-S381-39).   

Selected Contributions to Other Publications

  • Norman Birnbaum, Remembering Hans-Dietrich Genscher, The Nation, Apr. 12, 2016.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Auf Wiedersehen Günter Grass, The Nation, Apr. 27, 2015.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, How Germany's Surveillance Scandals Echo Our Own, The Nation, Aug. 14, 2015.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Remembering Tony Benn, The Nation, Mar. 18, 2014.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, We Don’t Need Heidegger’s Notebooks To Know that He Was a Despicable Anti-Semite, The Nation, April 1, 2014.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, El Legado de Obama en Política Exterior [The Legacy of Obama in Foreign Policy], Política Exterior, Nov.-Dec. 2012, at 78-90.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Germany, Far and Near, Dissent, Spring 2012, at 9-13.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Christopher Hitchens: Some Memories, The Nation, Dec. 19, 2011.    [WWW]
  • Norman Birnbaum, Gratitude and Forbearance, The Nation, Oct. 3, 2011, at 35-40 (reviewing Eric Miller, Hope in a Scattering Time: A Life of Christopher Lasch (2010)).    [WWW]
  • Norman Birnbaum, Bush zum Zweiten, 2005 Blätter für Deutsche & Int'l Pol. 164-172.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, La Sinistra è Diventata Obselete?, 56 Aggiornamenti Sociali 805-814 (2005).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, USA, I Prossimi Quattro Anni, 56 Aggiornamenti Sociali 144-153 (2005).   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Amerikanische Aussenpolitik nach dem Krieg und vor der Präsidentschaftswahl, 11 Osnabrücker Jb. Frieden & Wissen. 47-52 (2004).    [WWW]
  • Norman Birnbaum, György Széll & Brigitte Young, USA Heute - Selbsverständnis und Politik, 11 Osnabrücker Jb. Frieden & Wissen. 33-46 (2004).   
  • Norman Birnbaum & Paul Buhle, The Cold War: What Needs to be Rethought?, Dissent, Winter 2003, at 77-80.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, In Memoriam: Partisan Review, Chron. Higher Educ., May 9, 2003, at 13-14.   
  • Norman Birnbaum, Vous Citez Robert Kagan à Plusieurs Reprises. Celui-ci Est le Produit Typique d’un Milieu Américain Très Particulier, 30 Mouvements 88-96 (2003).   
Recent scholarship

In the News

"Democrats disunited," an interview with Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum, International Politics & Society Journal, August 29, 2017.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Taz.de, November 11, 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Estudios de Politica Exterior, November 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Handelsblatt, September 24, 2016.

"Neoconservativism and the Labor Market," an opinion piece by Professor Norman Birnbaum, in Lobe Log Foreign Policy, August 3, 2016.

View all News

All News

"Democrats disunited," an interview with Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum, International Politics & Society Journal, August 29, 2017.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Taz.de, November 11, 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Estudios de Politica Exterior, November 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Handelsblatt, September 24, 2016.

"Neoconservativism and the Labor Market," an opinion piece by Professor Norman Birnbaum, in Lobe Log Foreign Policy, August 3, 2016.

"Trump und der Ärger der weißen Verlierer," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbuam, in Der Standard, July 15, 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, July 2016.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, October 2015.

American candidates stumble toward 2016 elections,” Op-Ed piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in the Global Times, May 10, 2015.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, May 2015.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Handelsblatt, April 4, 2015.

"Obama faces challenges of deep state after Union address," coverage in Global Times, February 2, 2015, an article by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Defense secretary shift brings little change to US foreign policy," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum, in Global Times, December 12, 2014.

"Can US afford global military commitment?," a piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in Global Times, October 26, 2014.

"Clinton-Obama debate reveals policy divide," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum, in the Global Times, August 19, 2014.

"Nothing Inevitable About Clinton Nomination," a piece by Professor Norman Birnbaum in Global Times, June 2, 2014.

"Washington faces challenge to rule of law," a piece in Global Times, May 3, 2014, by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Monetarization of politics endangers US citizenry," coverage in The Global Times, April 14, 2014, an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, April 2014.

"We Don't Need Heidegger's Notebooks To Know that He Was A Despicable Anti-Semite," a piece in The Nation, April 1, 2014, written by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Remembering Tony Benn," a piece in The Nation, March 18, 2014, written by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Obama’s flexibility mistaken for weakness," an opinion piece in Global Times, March 10, 2014, by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Governor Christie’s troubles could deal blow to civic participation," Global Times, January 28, 2014, an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Obama’s Decisions Still Hold Potential to Reshape US Ambition," an opinion piece in the Global Times, by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum, January 2, 2014.

"Remembering Doris Lessing," a piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in The Nation, November 25, 2013.

"Los Otros Discoursos de Kennedy," El Pais, August 16, 2013, an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"Auf Dem Weg Ins Nichts,Taz Tageszeitung, August 9, 2013, an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum.

"US reaction to spying scandal provides miserable spectacle," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in the Global Times, June 17, 2013.

"JFK's Presidential Courage - June 10, 1963," a piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in The Nation, June 12, 2013.

"New Pope, Old Papacy," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in The Nation, March 15, 2013.

"Hagel Nomination Now Likely to be All Smooth Sailing," an opinion piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum in the Global Times, January 20, 2013.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, December 2012.

A piece by Professor Emeritus Norman Birnbaum appeared in Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, October 2012.

Recent News

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