Director, 2014-15 Program on "Global Diffusion"
Andreas Wimmer is Hughes-Rogers Professor of Sociology and Faculty Associate in Politics. His research aims to understand the dynamics of nation-state formation, ethnic boundary making and political conflict from a comparative perspective. He has pursued these themes across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science, and social anthropology and amateured in various methodological and analytical strategies: field research in Oaxaca (Mexico) and Iraq, comparative historical analysis, quantitative cross-national research, network studies, formal modeling, the analysis of large-scale survey data, as well as policy oriented research.
Over the past five years, Wimmer's articles were lucky enough to win awards from the Comparative Historical, Political, Cultural, Mathematical, and Theory sections of the American Sociological Association, from the Modeling and Simulation Section of the German Sociological Association, as well as the Thyssen Prize for Best Article in the Social Sciences. His recent work resulted in two new books: Waves of Wars (2013) analyzes data sets that cover the entire world over long stretches of time to trace the emergence of the nation-state, its subsequent proliferation across the globe, and the resulting waves of international war and domestic conflict. Ethnic Boundary Making (2013) introduces a series of theoretical principles and empirical research designs that allow disentangling ethnic from other processes of group formation and avoiding both an unreflected essentialism and an exaggerated constructivism.
Andreas Wimmer was educated at the University of Zurich, from where he received a PhD in social anthropology in 1992 and a habilitation two years later. Before joining Princeton University in 2012, he taught sociology at the University of California Los Angeles for ten years. Wimmer previously served as founding director of two interdisciplinary research institutes in Europe: the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies at the University of Neuchâtel (from 1995 to 1999) and the Department of Political and Cultural Change at the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (from 1999 to 2002).
Beate Witzler brings substantial experience in international education and exchange to her position with the Fung Global Fellows Program. She began her career at New York-based CDS International (now known as Cultural Vistas), where she managed a variety of international internship programs, student exchanges, and scholarship and fellowship programs for young professionals. Witzler joined Princeton University in 2008 as an interim program manager at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and an assistant editor at the Council of the Humanities, where she worked on an anthology of writers and journalists. Prior to being named assistant director of the Fung Global Fellows Program, she was the program coordinator for the Program in East Asian Studies. She received her Ph.D. in history from the Universitaet Heidelberg, Germany.