Ira Katznelson (Ph.D., Cambridge, 1969) is an Americanist whose work has straddled comparative politics and political theory as well as political and social history. He returned in 1994 to Columbia, where he had been assistant and then associate professor from 1969 to 1974. He is currently the Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History. In the interim, he taught the University of Chicago, chairing its department of political science from 1979 to 1982; and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, where he was dean from 1983 to 1989.
His most recent books are Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time, Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (with Andreas Kalyvas), and When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America. He is currently completing Liberal Reason, a collection of his essays on the character of modern social knowledge.
Professor Katznelson has served as President of the Social Science Research Council (2012-2017), and of the American Political Science Association (2005-2006). Previously, he served as President of the Social Science History Association and Chair of the Russell Sage Foundation Board of Trustees. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.