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Kubik, Jan - Department Chair

Jan Kubik Jan Kubik
Professor and Chair
Contact Information
Office: Hickman Hall - 505
Phone: (848) 932-9262
Web Page:
Education and Background
Ph.D. Columbia University, MA Jagiellonian, Cracow, Poland
(Studied sociology, cultural anthropology, and philosophy)
Comparative Politics; Communism and Postcommunism; Politics and Culture; Protest, Social Movements and Civil Society

2013 was a good year. Two books published and the third accepted for publication by Oxford University Press.

1. After many years of work a very important work that summarizes many of our ideas on the relationship between political science and anthropology is out. It is a result of a long-term collaboration with Mike Aronoff:

Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik. 2012. Anthropology and Political Science: A Convergent Approach. Berghahn Books.

"What a welcome book! Myron J. Aronoff and Jan Kubik, two erudite, widely read, and innovative scholars, have provided an insightful and much-needed map that charts the terrain linking politics and culture. This intervention into a long-standing conversation about the boundaries of the 'political' will stimulate students for years to come." Ed Schatz, University of Toronto.

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Methods: Ethnography and Case Study
Chapter 3. Beyond Political Culture
Chapter 4. Symbolic Dimensions of Politics: Political Ritual and Ceremonial
Chapter 5. The Politics of Collective Identity: Contested Israeli Nationalisms
Chapter 6. Democratization in Deeply Divided Societies: The Netherlands, India, and Israel
Chapter 7. Camp David Rashomon: Contested Interpretations of the Israel/Palestine Peace Process
Chapter 8. What Can Political Scientists Learn About Civil Society From Anthropologists?
Chapter 9. Homo Sovieticus and Vernacular Knowledge
Chapter 10. Conclusions

2. The second book, co-edited with Amy Linch, my former student and collaborator. We had a great team and are very happy with the result:

Jan Kubik and Amy Linch, eds. 2013. Post-Communism from Within: Social Justice, Mobilization, and Hegemony. New York: SSRC/NYU Press.

It is an edited volume, with a lot of our own writing. Amy wrote an Introduction and I provided an extensive review of the field of post-communist studies, suggesting that the best work in this area tends to coalesce around a research program I call contextual holism. The lead chapters are written by Tom Wolfe and John Pickles (a critique of many assumptions underpinning "standard" approaches to the region); Alena Ledeneva (a critique of what she calls the "corruption paradigm"); Joanna Regulska and Magda Grabowska (an extensive, critical review of the literature on gender in postcommunism); and Ivan Szelenyi and Katarzyna Wilk (a critical look at the work on post-communist poverty). The project was sponsored by the Social Science Research Council in New York.

3. Twenty Years After Communism: The Politics of Memory and Commemoration. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming summer 2014.

Michael Bernhard (University of Florida) and I developed an original analytical frame and led a team of exceptional scholars to investigate the politics of commemorations in the post-communist countries. We are studying the way 1989 is collectively remembered and how this remembering is politicized. The team met for the first time at a conference on this topic at the University of Florida, February 4-6, 2011. A great group of scholars, each providing a chapter on a country from the region. A truly amazing conference that initiated the project that offers many new insights into the politics of memory in the post-communist Europe. Our editorial work is finished and the book is the early stages of production. It will be out around July of 2014.

Chapters and/or fragments of these projects are available upon request.

4. Now I am left with only one project. It is massive and has been in the works for many years.

The Logic of Civil Society: Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, and Hungary.

This is a comparative study of civil society and protest politics in post-authoritarian/post-communist states, organized and conducted with Grzegorz Ekiert, Harvard; Yun-han Chu, Academia Sinica, Taipei; Sunhyuk Kim, Korea University, Seoul; Bela Greskovits, CEU, Budapest; and Jason Wittenberg, Berkeley). The database is constructed. We are writing the country chapters. Presented preliminary results at two APSA conventions and at the final meeting of the project in Seoul (January 2012). We are now inspecting the final version of our databases, editing the chapters and aim to have the first draft of the first project book finished by the end of 2014.

Selected recent articles
  • 2009a "Introducing Rigor to the Teaching of Interpretive Methods," Symposium: Teaching Interpretive Methods, Qualitative and Multi-method Research, Spring 2009:11-17.
  • 2009b "Ethnography of Politics: Foundations, Applications, Prospects," in Political Ethnography: What Immersion Contributes to the Study of Power, Edward Schatz, ed., forthcoming (September 2009), University of Chicago Press.
  • 2009c   “Solidarity,” International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest 1500-Present. Immanuel Ness, ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 3072-80.
  • 2008a    “Contentious politics, protest, social movements: the logic of theory development,” Societas/Communitas, 4-5(1), pp. 39-80 (in Polish).
  • 2008b    “The Logic of Civil Society: Poland, Hungary, South Korea and Taiwan. Project’s Outline and Preliminary Results” (with Michal Wenzel), Societas/Communitas, 4-5(1), pp. 97-106 (in Polish).
  • 2008c    “Hybridization as a condition of civil society’s portability,” in Building Civil Society and Democracy in New Europe, Sven Eliaeson, ed. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 107-29.
  • 2007a    “The State and civil society. Traditions and new forms of governing,” in Civil Society and the State, Emil Brix, Jürgen Nautz, Werner Wutscher, Rita Trattnigg, eds. Vienna: Passagen Verlag, pp. 33-52.
  • 2007b    “Democracy in the Post Communist World: an Unending Quest?” (with Grzegorz Ekiert and Milada Anna Vachudova), East European Politics and Societies, 21 (1), pp. 7-30. Earlier version: “Unfinished Business. Conference Report,” Club de Madrid.
  • 2006a    “Avant-garde theater contra state socialism: what was global before the era of globalization (in Tadeusz Kantor’s theater)?” in Stawanie sie Spoleczenstwa, Andrzej Flis, ed. Krakow: Universitas, pp. 267-91 (in Polish).
  • 2006b     “The Original Sin of Poland’s Third Republic: Discounting ‘Solidarity’ and its Consequences for Political Reconciliation” (with Amy Linch), Polish Sociological Review, 1 (153), pp. 13-34.
  • 2005    “How to study civil society: the state of the art and what to do next,” East European Politics and Societies, 19 (1), pp. 105-20. 
  • 2003   “Cultural Legacies of State Socialism: History-making and Cultural-political Entrepreneurship in Postcommunist Poland and Russia,“ in Capitalism and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: Assessing the Legacy of Communist Rule, edited by Grzegorz Ekiert and Stephen E. Hanson. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 317-51.

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