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Robert M. FishmanRobert M. Fishman

Professor of Sociology
Editor, Kellogg Institute Working Paper Series
(PhD, Yale University, 1985)
230 Hesburgh Center

Geographic focus: Europe

Thematic interests: Democracy and democratic practice, state and regime transformations, politics and culture, consequences of inequality, European integration and the Euro Crisis

Current research: Writing a book analyzing differences in democratic practice and societal outcomes between “third wave” pioneers Portugal and Spain, the Iberian Peninsula neighbors which, through nearly polar opposite pathways of change, initiated the late 20th century’s worldwide expansion of democratic rule.

In the press:
Fishman Explores Democracy and InequalityNotre Dame news story, March 26, 2013
A tragédia portuguesa faz parte de uma tragédia maior – Fishman interview in Visâo, May 17, 2012

Selected publications:

  • “Networks and Narratives in the Making of Civic Practice: Lessons from Iberia,” in Carmen Sirianni and Jennifer Girouard, eds., Varieties of Civic Innovation: Deliberative, Collaborative, Network and Narrative Approaches (Vanderbilt University Press, 2014).

  • “Democracy and Markets: Notes on a Twenty-First Century Paradox,” in Daniel Brinks, Marcelo Leiras and Scott Mainwaring, eds., Reflections on Uneven Democracies: The Legacy of Guillermo O’Donnell (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

  • “How Macro-historical Change Shapes Cultural Taste: Legacies of Democratization in Spain and Portugal” (with Omar Lizardo), American Sociological Review 78, 2 (April 2013).
    Winner of the the Charles Tilly Best Article Award presented by the Comparative and Historical Sociology Section of the American Sociology Association.

  • “Anomalies of Spain’s Economy and Economic Policy-making,” Contributions to Political Economy 31, 1 (2012).

  • “On the Significance of Public Protest in Spanish Democracy,” in Jacint Jordana, Vicenç Navarro, Francesc Pallarés, and Ferran Requejo, eds., Democràcia, política i societat. Homenatge a Rosa Virós (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, 2012).

  • “Revisiting ‘Paths Toward Redemocratization,’” in Douglas Chalmers and Scott Mainwaring, eds., Problems Confronting Contemporary Democracies: Essays in Honor of Alfred Stepan (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012).

  •  “Democratic Practice after the Revolution: The Case of Portugal and Beyond,” Politics And Society 39, 2 (June 2011).

  • “Portugal’s Unnecessary Bailout,” New York Times Op-Ed (April 12, Online; April 13, Print, 2011).

  • “Rethinking the Iberian Transformations: How Democratization Scenarios Shaped Labor Market Outcomes,” in Studies in Comparative International Development 45, 3 (Fall 2010).

  • “On the Costs of Conceptualizing Social Ties as Social Capital,” Viva Bartkus and Jim Davis, eds., Social Capital: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Edward Elgar Press, 2009).

  •  “Civic Engagement and Church Policy in the Making of Religious Vocations: Cross-National Variation in the Evolution of Priestly Ordinations” (with Keely Jones), in Giuseppe Giordan ed., Vocation and Social Context (Brill Academic Publishers and Association for the Sociology of Religion, 2007).

  • “Triumphs, failures and ambiguities in democratization: Juan Linz and the study of regime change,” Joan Marcet and José Ramón Montero, eds., Roads to Democracy: A Tribute to Juan J. Linz (Institut de Ciències Polítiques i Socials, Barcelona, 2007).

  • “On Being a Weberian (After Spain’s 11 – 14 March): Notes on the Continuing Relevance of the Methodological Perspective Proposed by Weber,” in Laurence McFalls, ed., Max Weber’s “Objectivity” Revisited (University of Toronto Press, 2007).

  • “Shaping, Not Making Democracy: The European Union and the Post-authoritarian Political Transformation of Spain and Portugal,” South European Society and Politics 8, 1 – 2 (2003).
    Also in: Sebastian Royo and Paul Manuel, eds., From Isolation to Integration: Fifteen Years of Spanish and Portuguese Membership in Europe (Frank Cass, 2003).

  • “Workplace Leaders and Labour Organisation: Limits on the Mobilisation and Representation of Workers” (with Carol Mershon), International Contributions to Labour Studies 3 (1993).

  • “Rethinking State and Regime: Southern Europe’s Transition to Democracy,” World Politics 42, 3 (April 1990).

  • Working Class Organization and the Return to Democracy in Spain (Cornell University Press, 1990, also translated into Spanish).

Working papers:




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Varieties of Democracy

Latin American/North America Church Concerns

Notre Dame Award

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Visiting Fellows Program

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International Development Studies Minor

Latin American Studies Minor

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The Kellogg Institute promotes scholarship, learning, and linkages that address issues of critical importance to our world. At the center of our interdisciplinary community’s work are two key themes: democratization and human development. 

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