I am Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, a faculty I joined in 1966 after teaching for two years at the University of Illinois. Although much of my teaching was in the fields of comparative and international politics, it was possible there to explore theoretical and policy-related questions through transdisciplinary approaches to the social sciences. Working in a comparative-historical fashion, I began with theoretical and empirical studies of politics and public policies in western and central Europe and followed expanding research interests in ethnic identity and ethnic relations, migration and security. More recently, I have been exploring the moral and political implications of past political actions for the present and of current actions for the future. Examples of such work over time appear on my Research page. An abiding concern, beginning with my dissertation, is the ineluctable tension between the social and cultural coherence necessary for peaceful, humane and progressive governance and the preservation of the dignity and autonomy of the individual – something central to the spirit of the Enlightenment.
Field research has been central to my work; fellowships and teaching opportunities made possible spending extended periods in Belgium, France, Germany, Britain and Denmark, as well as shorter stays in more than a dozen other countries. My methods have ranged from data-based quantitative analysis to the qualitative, interpretive treatment of interviews and ethnographic research. The designs and style of my research follow an adverbial bent of mind: what, where, when, who, how and why?
Editing and collaborative work permitted exploring a wider range of subjects than one person could pursue. During the 1970s I created and served as academic editor of “Comparative Studies of Political Life,” a series of sixteen books, some of which are still being published. Subsequently I organized, edited or coedited a number of books, special issues of journals and symposia in the areas of my research interests.
Since the University of Maryland is “inside the Washington Beltway,” I occasionally advised or consulted public agencies and members of Congress. It has also been my privilege to play active roles in the work of my university and such professional organizations as the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association. Retirement has permitted engagement with area-wide civic groups, the governance of my local community and such advocacy organizations as Oregonians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.
Privileged to live in the Pacific Northwest now, I continue to enjoy travel, hiking, working out and cultivating my abiding interests in politics, public issues, books, music, the visual arts and photography. These are subjects explored in most of the essays that appear in my blog.