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Mabel Berezin

Mabel Berezin

Director, Institute for European Studies

Mabel Berezin is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Sociology at Cornell University. Her expertise lies in the area of extreme and exclusionary forms of nationalism, such as fascism and right-wing populist politics, and the threats that these phenomena pose to democratic political culture and governance. Berezin has written books on Italian fascism; on territorial politics in Europe; and on contemporary French and Italian right-wing politics.  Europe is her principal research area but the comparison to United States is increasingly becoming a focus. Her work explores how meaning systems shape and interact with political practices and institutions. Berezin’s cross cutting and interdisciplinary research agenda allows her to cast a wide net over the interpretation of current as well as past political events.

She is the author of Making the Fascist Self: The Political Culture of Interwar Italy which was awarded the J. David Greenstone Prize by the American Political Science Association and which Choice named an "Outstanding Academic Book of 1997"Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Culture, Society and Populism in the New Europe; and co-editor with Martin Schain of Europe without Borders: Remapping Territory, Citizenship, and Identity in a Transnational Age.

In addition to numerous articles, review essays and contributions to edited volumes, she has edited collaborative volumes on democratic culture, emotions and the economy, qualitative methods and health and culture. Berezin engages with the media on current events and contributes commentary to general interest publications such as her recent essay in The Nation on the January 6 events in Washington DC. 

She has held numerous fellowships. In academic year 2018-2019, she was a Member of the School of Social Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton where she worked on a monograph addressing the global resurgence of nationalism and the populist challenge to democratic practice. In 2019, she was elected to the Sociological Research Association, founded in 1936 to recognize and advance excellence in theoretical and empirical sociological research.

As Director of IES, Berezin plans to focus on the Einaudi initiatives on Democratic Challenges and Resilience, Migrations and to develop a new initiative around EU responses to global challenges such as COVID and Climate Change.  

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Phone: 607-255-4042