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William I. Brustein

Special Assistant to the President for Global Affairs and Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of History


  • Ph.D. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Sociology, 1981
  • M.A. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Sociology, 1977
  • M.A. Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, D.C.; International Studies, 1971
  • B.A. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; Political Science, 1969

  Research Interests

  • Interwar European Fascism
  • European Political and Religious Extremism
  • Comparative Anti-Semitism

Selected Publications


The Socialism of Fools?: Leftist Origins of Modern Anti-Semitism (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press), 2015 (with Louisa Roberts).  

Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press), 2003.

  The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933 (New Haven: Yale University Press), 1996 (Winner of the 1997 James S. Coleman Distinguished Contribution to Rational-Choice Scholarship from the American Sociological Association, Rational-Choice Section)

  The Social Origins of Political Regionalism: France, 1849 to 1981 (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1988.

  Articles and Chapters

  “It Takes an Entire Institution: A Blueprint for the Global University,” The Handbook of Practice and Research in Study Abroad: Higher Education and the Quest for Global Citizenship , edited by Ross Lewin, London: Routledge, 2009, chapter 15.

 “A Political Threat Model of Intergroup Violence: Jews in Pre-World War II Germany.” Criminology , 2006, 44, 4:865-890 (with Ryan King).

 “Anti-Semitism as a Response to Perceived Jewish Power: The Cases of Bulgaria and Romania before the Holocaust.” Social Forces , 2004, 83:691-708 (with Ryan King). 

“Interwar Fascist Popularity in Europe and the Default of the Left,” European Sociological Review , 1999, 15, 2:25-44 (with M. Berntson).

“Who Joined the Nazis and Why?”  American Journal of Sociology , 1997, 103: 216-221.

“Who Joined the Nazi Party?: Assessing Theories of the Social Origins of Nazism.” Zeitgeschichte , 1995, 22: 83-108 (with Jürgen Falter).

“Ruler Autonomy and War in Early Modern Western Europe.”  International Studies Quarterly , 1995, 39: 109-138 (with Edgar Kiser, Kriss Drass).

“The Relationship Between Revolt and War in Early Modern Western Europe.”  Journal of Political and Military Sociology , 1995, 22: 305-324 (with Edgar Kiser and Kriss Drass).

“Sociology of Nazism: An Interest Based Account.”  Rationality and Society , 1994, 6: 369-399 (with Jürgen Falter).

“The Political Geography of Belgian Fascism:  The Case of Rexism.” American Sociological Review , 1988, 53: 939-950.

“The Geography of Rebellion: Rulers, Rebels, and Regions, 1500-1700.”  Theory and Society , 1987, 16: 467-495 (with Margaret Levi). Honorable mention in the 1989 Best Recent Article Competition by the Comparative Historical Society Section of the American Sociological Association, 1989.

“Class Conflict and Class Collaboration in Regional Rebellions, 1500-1700.”  Theory and Society , 1985, 14: 445-468.

“A Regional Mode-of-Production Analysis of Political Behavior: The Cases of Western and Mediterranean France.”  Politics and Society , 1981, 10: 355-398.

“Regional Modes-of-Production and Patterns of State Formation in Western Europe.”  American Journal of Sociology , 1980, 85: 1061-1094 (with Michael Hechter).