Robin Archer, Professorial Research Fellow

January - April 2019

Welcome to the Department of Sociology!

Robin Archer is Associate Professor (Reader) in Political Sociology at the London School of Economics, where he is also the Director of the Ralph Miliband Program and its extensive public lecture program as well as of the long-established Postgraduate Program in Political Sociology. He was previously the Fellow in Politics at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford where he taught for over a decade and was responsible for the university-wide lecture in political sociology.

His first degree was in Physics, Maths and Philosophy at the University of Sydney where he received first class honours and the University Medal. After a period working in the trade union movement, he won a Commonwealth scholarship which enabled him to undertake doctoral research at Balliol College, Oxford.

Robin Archer has wide-ranging interests in the study of politics and society. A concern with labour movements and social democratic politics is a thread that runs through much of his work. And he often adopts a comparative and historical approach to these questions. In addition, he has a continuing interest in a wide range of other social movements, in questions of social and political philosophy (particularly questions concerning liberalism, socialism, freedom and democracy), in the study of labour relations and the development of welfare states, in questions of political culture (particularly those concerning the impact of liberal, racial and religious ideas), and in the effects of political institutions.  

He has been invited to give numerous guest lectures in North America, Europe, India and Australia. And he has previously held visiting fellowships at Columbia University (1996 & 2001-02), Sydney University (1997), the Jawaharlal Nehru University  (1998), Delhi University (2000), Princeton University (2001-02), the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM) (2003-03), the Australian National university (2013), and New York University (2014).

His major books include Economic Democracy: the Politics of Feasible Socialism (Oxford University Press, 1995) and Why is There No Labor Party in the United States? (Princeton University Press, 2007). He has also published in many journals, including Politics and Society, Economy and Society, Political Power and Social Theory, Labour History, Studies in American Political Development, and the British Journal of Sociology.

He has written feature articles for newspapers like the Financial Times, the Guardian and the New Statesman as well as for the LSE’s Public Policy and Politics blog. He is regularly interviewed by journalists from various countries in Europe and Asia as well as for leading print and broadcast media in the English-speaking world, including BBC Radio and Television, the ABC, and the BBC World Service.

His most recent work is a co-edited volume on The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (Monash University Press, 2016), which grew out of an expert symposium that was sponsored by the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. The book was launched in Australia by the Leader of the Australian Labor Party.

While at the University of Vienna, he will build on this research by working on a comparative project about the changing social bases of opposition to war and conscription (both during the First World War and more recently) as well by examining the role of honour in decisions to go to war. In addition, he will begin gathering material for a project on the paradoxical current state of labour politics in the established democracies – with radical renewal in some places and historic decline in others.

Gebäude des Instituts für Soziologie, Universität Wien, Rooseveltplatz 2, 1090 Wien