History

The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility is named in honor of late New School professor Aristide R. Zolberg, one of the world’s leading voices on the politics, history and ethics of immigration. Zolberg served as Walter A. Eberstadt Professor of Politics and University in Exile Professor Emeritus at The New School for Social Research. A distinguished political scientist and preeminent scholar of comparative politics, the history of international migration, nationalism and ethnicity, and immigration policy in North America and Western Europe, he served for many years as founding director of the International Center for Migration, Ethnicity and Citizenship (ICMEC) at The New School. ICMEC would serve as the foundation for the launch of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, launched shortly after Zolberg’s passing in 2013.

Early in life, Zolberg experienced first-hand the perils of war, ethnic hatred, displacement and exile. A Belgian Jew, Ary was born shortly before the Nazis rose to power, and survived World War II under an assumed Catholic identity in France. After the war he became a refugee in the United States, and earned his doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago.

Zolberg mentored and inspired several generations of colleagues and students at The New School, where he was first appointed as Distinguished Professor of Political Science in 1983. Zolberg’s book, A Nation by Design, remains one of the most authoritative accounts of immigration history in the United States, and a compelling story of how immigration shaped the country.

The Zolberg Institute is privileged to continue Zolberg’s humanity, erudition and legacy.