Ezra Suleiman, born in Basra, Iraq, in 1941. Ph.D. from Columbia University. IBM Professor of International Studies and Professor of Politics at Princeton University.
Guest of the Rector (1 September 2009 – 31 December 2009)
POLES APART: POLITICAL POLARIZATION ACROSS THE ATLANTIC
I was delighted to be able to return to NIAS a second time. I worked on two projects during my four-month stay. While at NIAS four years earlier, I undertook a large survey of the top officials of the European Commission. Several articles have resulted from this project. The book manuscript was close to completion but needed some additional work. I turned my attention to it as soon as I arrived at NIAS. I found that I could immerse myself in the manuscript in a way that I had not be able to while assuming all my teaching and other responsibilities. So I owe the completion of this manuscript to my stay at NIAS. I also was able make progress on my second project which concerns political and societal polarisation in Europe and the United States. I am hopeful that the project will proceed at a fast pace because of what I was able to accomplish on it during my time at NIAS. I was always aware that the problems with this project would be largely methodological simply because when analysing a phenomenon like polarisation one needs rigorous definitions before embarking on the analysis. The literature devoted to polarisation in the United States of America (it is essentially non-existent in European social science) has shown that different results can be obtained depending on what is being measured.