Daniel Levy



Areas of Interest

Political Sociology, Comparative Historical Sociology, Globalization, Collective Memory Studies


Daniel Levy received his PhD from Columbia University. He is Associate Professor of Sociology. As a political sociologist he is interested in issues of globalization, collective memory studies and comparative-historical sociology. He has been exploring the global diffusion of   rights norms and their impact on questions of nation-state legitimacy. The result of this research is a monograph entitled "Human Rights and Memory" (co-authored with Natan Sznaider, Penn State University Press, 2010). He is also co-editor of "The Collective Memory Reader" (with Jeffrey Olick and Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi, Oxford University Press, 2011). From 2006 to 2011 he has served as an editor for the Rose Series, a joint publication from the American Sociological Association and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is co-organizer of an interdisciplinary Initiative for the Historical Social Sciences. In 2009 he co-founded the Columbia University Seminar on 'History, Redress and Reconciliation', which he is co-chairing with Elazar Barkan. His interest in memory studies is also reflected in the Memory Studies Bank, which serves as a virtual bibliographic repository for the field of memory studies.


Selected Publications

Ulrich Beck and Daniel Levy (2013) "Cosmopolitanized Nations:  Reimagining Collectivity in World Risk Society" in Theory, Culture and Society 30 (2): 3-31

The Collective Memory Reader (co-edited with Jeffrey Olick and Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi), Oxford University Press, 2011

"Reflexive Particularism and Europeanization: The Reconfiguration of the National" Global Networks 11, 2 (2011): 139-159. Daniel Levy, Michael Heinlein, Lars Breuer

Human Rights and Memory (with Natan Sznaider), Penn State University Press 2010

“Recursive Cosmopolitanisation: Argentina and the Global Human Rights Regime” British Journal of Sociology 61(3): 579-596

"The Transformation of Sovereignty: Towards a Sociology of Human Rights" British Journal of Sociology Vol. 57 No. 4: 657-676. (2006) Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider.

The Holocaust and Memory in a Global Age (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, Fall 2005) Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider.

Memories of Universal Victimhood: The case of Ethnic German Expellees" German Politics and Society 23(2): 1 - 27 (2005) Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider.

"Forgive and Not Forget: Reconciliation between Forgiveness and Resentment" Taking Wrongs Seriously: Apologies and Reconciliation. Elazar Barkan and Alexander Karn (eds.) (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2005) Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider.

"The Politics of Commemoration: The Holocaust, Memory and Trauma" Handbook of Contemporary European Social Theory Gerard Delanty (ed.). (London and New York: Routledge, 2005). Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider. pp 289-297.

Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe: Transatlantic Relations after the Iraq War (London: Verso, Spring 2005) Daniel Levy, Max Pensky, John Torpey (eds.)

"The Institutionalization of Cosmopolitan Morality: The Holocaust and Human Rights" Journal of Human Rights 3(2): 143-157 (2004) Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider.

"The Cosmopolitan Figuration: Historicizing Reflexive Modernization" Ulrich Becks kosmopolitisches Projekt Angelika Poferl and Natan Sznaider (eds.) (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2004) pp. 177-187.

"Institutionalizing the Past: Shifting Memories of Nationhood in German Education and Immigration Legislation" Memory and Power in International Relations. Jan-Werner Mueller (ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003 (with Julian Dierkes).

"Refugees, Expellees, and Aussiedler in the Federal Republic of Germany: Social, Political, and Legal Dimensions of the Integration Process" Coming Home to Germany? The Integration of Ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe in the Federal Republic. David Rock and Stefan Wolff (eds.) Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2002.

Challenging Ethnic Citizenship: German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration. New York: Berghahn Books (2002) (eds. with Yfaat Weiss)

"Memory Unbound: The Holocaust and the Formation of Cosmopolitan Memory" European Journal of Social Theory (with Natan Sznaider) 5(1):87-106. 2002.

Erinnerung im globalen Zeitalter: Der Holocaust. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag (2001) (with Natan Sznaider)

"The Future of the Past: Historiographical Disputes and Competing Memories in Germany and Israel" History and Theory Vol. 38, No. 1: 51-66, 1999.

"Collective Memory and Cultural Constraint: Holocaust Myth and Rationality in German Politics" American Sociological Review Vol. 62 December:921-936, 1997 (with Jeffrey K. Olick).

Undergraduate Courses

Soc 330 - Media & Society

Course Description:
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to various intersections of mass media, popular culture and society. What are the cultural, political, social, ideological and economic underpinnings of media messages? How does the digital revolution affect the flow of media information? How does the control of media ownership inform dominant frames of representation? How have media representations of class, gender, race and ethnicity changed over time? What are the implications of globalization on media production and the exchange of information? How do global and technological changes affect the coverage of war and terrorism? We will explore processes of mass communication and how they are related to politics, economics, social and cultural phenomenon. Historical media developments (from the printed press to the digital information technology) as well as theoretical perspectives to analyze the mass media will be addressed. Our central objective is to learn about the changing relationship of media and society, and apply critical methods to analyze the flow of images and messages in political news, popular culture and other realms of mass media(ted) communication.

Soc 348 - Global Sociology

Course Description:
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to the field of Global Sociology. It introduces students to sociological perspectives on various manifestations of political, economic, social and cultural globalization. One central objective of the class is to provide students with an analytical tool kit to study the causes and effects of global issues including: the changing role of state sovereignty; the reconfiguration of International Relations and new forms of warfare; the social and political implications of a globalized economy; the emergence of new cultural forms in which local and global trends are fused; the role of new information technologies and deterritorialized media; new types of social movements that have arisen in the context of globalization; increasing migration movements and related forms of transnationalism; the growing significance of environmental risks. The course will explore the sociological treatment of these themes and compare them with the everyday representations of globalization in the public media, primarily the printed press. We will draw on a variety of conceptual perspectives to understand the basic dynamics of globalization processes.

Soc 356 - Political Sociology

Course Description:
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to the field of Political Sociology. It involves the study of the relationship between society and politics. Political Sociology is located at the intersection of sociology, political science, history and economics. It is primarily concerned with the various ways in which power is conceptualized. We will explore some of its major dimensions: the social organization of power, state formation processes, and the changing dynamics of state-society relations. The course will draw on a variety of theoretical perspectives to understand the political foundations and struggles of modern democracies. We will apply these analytic tools to empirical cases and explore how state-society relations (as well as the terms to study them) have developed historically.

Soc 390 - Immigration and Citizenship

Course Description:
This course surveys various citizenship and immigration theories from a historical-comparative perspective. The class explores the relationship of globalization and developing immigration trends. A variety of citizenship debates will be addressed. Particular emphasis rests on the ways in which representations of immigrants are shaped and, in turn, inform conceptions of culture and nationhood. We will discuss a wide array of themes ranging from issues of multiculturalism, the emergence of Diaspora cultures and transnational communities. Focusing on Europe and North-America, this course surveys the political, social, demographic and economic consequences of globalization on international migration. The first part of the class examines various citizenship and immigration theories in comparative-historical perspective. The second part addresses recent developments revolving around globalization, with a particular focus on emerging transnational formations (e.g. disapora communities and multicultural citizenship). In the third part we study the empirical manifestations of these formations. Europe, along with North America, has become a major magnet for contemporary migrants.

Graduate Courses

Soc 510 - Historical Methods

Course Description:
The purpose of this class is to introduce students to doing sociology comparatively and historically. We will be looking at how sociology integrates theory and historical data through a variety of methods. Research design and the evaluation of empirical sources constitute the central objective of course. Historical-comparative approaches provide a variety of methodological tools for sociological analysis. Among the issues and techniques to be explored are: the formulation of a research problem; types of data; uses of theories and concepts; modes of historical discourse; strategies of explanation and the deployment of evidence. The course is divided into four broad segments: 1) different aspects of comparative-historical methods revolving around research designs and analytic techniques. 2) case studies highlighting some of these methods. Different techniques of comparison will be tested with reference to a) state structures (e.g. nation-state formation), b) social change (e.g. revolutions and social movements), and c) issues of nation and identity in the context of the 'cultural turn.' 3) the effects of globalization on established methods in comparative-historical research. 4) student presentations of a research project which incorporates some of the methodological tools we discuss in the course of the term.

Soc 512 - Global Sociology

Course Description:
This course explores the methodological, theoretical and empirical significance various processes of globalization have for our analysis of politics and society. The class is designed as a survey introducing students to the field of Global Sociology. It offers sociological perspectives on different manifestations of political, economic, social and cultural globalization. Its main organizing principle revolves around the tension between a prevalent 'Methodological Nationalism' and the emerging possibilities for a 'Cosmopolitan Methodology.' The latter seeks to complement a nation-state centered stance with an analytic tool kit that provides transnational perspectives. Particular attention will be paid to the effects these processes have on key themes in various areas of sociological inquiry such as: the changing role of state sovereignty and the emergence of nation-state transcending forms of legitimacy; the underlying political and social implications of a global economy; the reconfiguration of international relations and changing features of warfare; the significance of New Social Movements and International Non-Governmental Organizations; the global focus on environmental risks; the impact of migration on the contested notion of transnationalism and concomitant conceptions of citizenship; the fusing of cultural forms and related tensions between local and global trends.

Soc 556 - Graduate Seminar: Political Sociology

Course Description:
This seminar is designed to provide graduate students with a broad understanding of the general approaches in the field of Political Sociology, which is located at the intersection of sociology, political science, history and economics. It is primarily concerned with the various ways in which power is conceptualized. The course offers analytic tools for understanding the changing relationship between state and society drawing on a variety of theoretical perspectives to understand the political foundations of and struggles in modern democracies. We will apply these analytic tools to empirical cases and explore how state-society relations (as well as the terms to study them) have developed historically (spanning the emergence of the nation-state and recent features of globalization). The class is divided into four major sections. The first part addresses fundamental assumptions about politics in historical and conceptual terms. The second part explores key concepts such as Power, State and Nationhood. In the third part we will address various theories of State-Society Relations (e.g. Pluralism, Elitism, (Neo)Marxism and Neo-Institutionalism). We will explore how the balance between state and civil society has been shaped by the emergence of New Social Movements, Immigration and the impact of the Media. In the fourth part, we look at the impact various globalization processes have on the autonomy of the Nation-State and possible reconfigurations of Civil Society.

Soc 591 - Citizenship and Immigration:
Emerging Modes of Identification in the Age of Globality

Course Description:
This is a class for advanced graduate students with an interest in immigration and questions of collective identification in a global age. The course explores the relationship of globalization and ongoing debates on a variety of citizenship issues. Particular emphasis rests on the ways in which representations of immigrants are shaped and, in turn, inform conceptions of culture, nationhood and citizenship. The first part of the class examines various citizenship and immigration theories in historical perspective. The second part addresses recent developments revolving around globalization, with a particular focus on emerging transnational formations. These include post-national scenarios, diaspora communities and questions of multicultural citizenship. In the third part we study the empirical manifestations of these formations in the Western European context. Europe, along with North America, has become a major magnet for contemporary migrants. Recent European migration trends offer an interesting prism on globalization insofar as they organize collectivities through a highly institutionalized supranational body (EU). This creates the legal foundations for these trends, provides legitimacy for competing visions of collective self-understanding as well as demands to establish firm criteria for national belonging. The fourth part of the course will be dedicated to students' case studies.

Soc 595 - The Sociology of Human Rights

Course Description:
Since the end of the Second World War we observe the consolidation of a Human Rights Regime that manifests itself along three central dimensions: through the formation of nation-transcending legislation (e.g. International Tribunals and the institutionalization of supra-national Courts); a politics of restitution that seeks to compensate former victims; and the institution of truth and reconciliation commissions. The latter modes of coming to terms with difficult national pasts, are particularly salient to states facing transitional conditions, but can also be found in the context of established democracies. Based on those developments, this is a course for advanced graduate students with an interest in: the sociological significance of Human Rights norms and their various effects on international and domestic politics. The aforementioned proliferation of Human Rights Regimes and their institutionalization will serve as an analytic prism to explore their relative impact on: Migration patterns, War Crime Tribunals, Genocide prevention and the monitoring of Ethnic Cleansing and other aspects of restitution politics. We will also analyze how these developments relate to the potential reconfiguration of state-society relations, and the role both non-state actors (such as NGOs, INGOs, TSMs) as well as supranational organizations play in this emerging constellation.

News & Events

  April 2015  
  IHSS will present Miriam L. Kingsberg, University of Colorado; ACLS Ryskamp Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, April 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM, “Fieldwork, Ethnology, and Empire: the Making of Japan's ‘Transwar Generation’ of Social Scientists” - Co-sponsored by the History Department  
  March 2015  
  IHSS will present Shobana Shankar, Stony Brook Department of History, March 11, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “Curbing Religious Freedoms for State Security: The Old Cities of Northern Nigeria in the Era
of Decolonization” - Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department
  February 2015  
  IHSS will present Paul Gootenberg, Stony Brook Department of History & Sociology, February 18, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N320, “From Teonanácatl to Miami Vice: Latin America’s Contribution to World Drug Culture” - Co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center  
  December 2014  
  Florencia Arancibia has been awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council for her research project, "Social movements and knowledge intermediaries: participatory methods for inclusive innovation."  
  October 2014
  IHSS will present Rick DesRochers, Long Island University-Post Campus, Department of Theatre, October 14, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Family Act Goes to School - The Marx Brothers, Vaudeville, and Americanization."  
  September 2014  
  Michael Kimmel and Gloria Steinem co-author New York Times opinion piece on consensual sex on college campuses entitled "Yes Is Better Than No."
Kristen Shorette receives ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award for her project, "Freedom from Discrimination as Human Right?  The Global Human Rights Regime and the Diffusion of Affirmative Action since 1965"
Carrie Shandra selected as a Fellow of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research's Switzer Research Program
Nicholas Wilson, Yale University, September 29, 2014, 1:00 PM, SBS N403, "Corruption and the Making of Modern Bureaucracy:  Evidence from the British Empire in India."
IHSS will present Steven Skiena, Stony Brook University, Department of Computer Science, September 18, 2:30 PM, SBS N403, "Who's Bigger?  Where Historical Figures Really Rank.
  June 2014
  •Suzan Walters was named a 2014 Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award Recipient by SAGE.  
  May 2014  
  Cathy Marrone receives the Sister Margareet Ann Landry Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stony Brook Student Life Awards Ceremony  
  April 2014  

•Study by Arnout van de Rijt and Michael Restivo published in PNAS and featured in The Economist
•Kenneth Pierce has received the Jean Harvey Slappy Fellowship by the Marcus Garvey Foundation
•Florencia Arancibia has been awarded an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship
IHSS, co-sponsored with the Department of History presents Samuel Roberts, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, April 22nd, 2:30 PM, SBS N320, "Black Politics, Caught Between Criminalization and Medicalization:  Methadone Maintenance, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction, 1965-1990."
Natalia Sarkisian, Boston College, April 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS S403,"More or Less Kin:  Economic Disparities and Kin Support"
Oyeronke Oyewumi received the Distinguished Africanist Award by the New York African Studies Association (NYASA)
•Hyang-Gi Song has been awarded the Center for Korean Studies graduate fellowship
Jennifer London, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, April 9, 2014, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, "Understanding Authoritarianism as a Dynamic Category of Practice:  Ibn al-Muqaffa's Legacy for the History of Arab Political Thought:"

  March 2014  

•Brooke Ellison, Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management at Stony Brook University, was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Global Leader.
•Oyeronke Oyewumi awarded 2014/15 Fulbright Scholar Grant for teaching and research in Harare, Zimbabwe
•Rebekah Burroway, Cathy Marrone, and Carrie Shandra awarded Dean's Funds for Excellence awards
•Sasha Rodriguez awarded the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship
•Bethany Coston receives the Madeline Fusco Fellowship Award
•Sasha Rodriguez receives the Faculty-Staff Dissertation Fellowship
•Amanda Kennedy receives the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
•Sociology Major Neha Kinariwalla receives Gates Cambridge University Fellowship
•Ambassador Robert Toscano, March 24, 2014, 4:00 PM, Center for Italian Studies, Library, Room E4340, "Putin's Russia: Between Soviet Nostalgia and Traditionalist Nataionalism"
Valerie Leiter, Simmons College, March 13th, 4:00 PM, Health Sciences Center,Level 2, Room 408 (School of Health Technology and Management Conference Room),"Power, Rights, and Participation among Youth with Disabilities."  Co-sponsored by the Program in Public Health
IHSS will present Lori Flores, Stony Brook University, Department of History, March 5, 12:00 Noon, SBS N320, "Battlegrounds of Masculinity:  Latino Servicemen, Zoot Suiters, and Farmworkers in World War II"

  February 2014
  •Tarun Banerjee receives Sociology Department's Judith Tanur Dissertation Research Award.
Crystal Fleming receives Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
IHSS will present Lawrence Frohman, Stony Brook University, Department of History, February 12th, 11:30 AM, SBS N320, "Surveillance, Security, Divinity"

Department of Sociology,  Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700

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