(born in Bielsko
Bielsko was until 1950 an independent town situated in Cieszyn Silesia, Poland. In 1951 it was joined with Biała Krakowska to form the new town of Bielsko-Biała. Bielsko constitutes the western part of that town....
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...
1933) is an Israeli
political scientist. He is Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...
of Political Science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
He also serves as Recurring Visiting Professor at the Central European University
For other uses, see European University Central European University is a graduate-level, English-language university offering degrees in the social sciences, humanities, law, public policy, business management, environmental science, and mathematics...
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...
and Fellow of the Centrum für Angewandte Politikforschung in Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...
Avineri has written extensively in the history of political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...
, especially on the political thought of Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...
, and on the early Zionist political theories of Moses Hess
Moses Hess was a Jewish philosopher and socialist, and one of the founders of Labor Zionism.-Life:Hess was born in Bonn, which was under French rule at the time. In his French-language birth certificate, his name is given as "Moises"; he was named after his maternal grandfather...
and Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...
. He has also written numerous books and articles on Middle Eastern affairs and international affairs.
Avineri contributed in revising Hegel's political thought and showing Hegel's pluralism. He criticized Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper, CH FRS FBA was an Austro-British philosopher and a professor at the London School of Economics...
's theories about Hegel, where Popper denounced Hegel as an apologist of state power, and precursor of 20th century totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...
Avineri was also involved in the debate over the dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...
. He argued that it was the pre-capitalist structure of 1917 Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...
, as well as the strong authoritarian traditions of the Russian state and its weak civil society, which pushed the Soviet revolution towards its repressive development.
His recent intellectual biography of Herzl shows how developments in his native Austro-Hungarian Empire, rather than the Dreyfus Affair in France, convinced Herzl of the failure of Jewish emancipation in Europe and of the need to find a political solution for the Jews, based on national self-determination, outside of Europe.
His work has appeared in Dissent
, Foreign Affairs
, and The New York Review of Books
. He frequently contributes Op-ed
An op-ed, abbreviated from opposite the editorial page , is a newspaper article that expresses the opinions of a named writer who is usually unaffiliated with the newspaper's editorial board...
s to Haaretz
Haaretz is Israel's oldest daily newspaper. It was founded in 1918 and is now published in both Hebrew and English in Berliner format. The English edition is published and sold together with the International Herald Tribune. Both Hebrew and English editions can be read on the Internet...
. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Jewish Review of Books
The Jewish Review of Books is a quarterly magazine with articles on literature, culture and current affairs from a Jewish perspective. It is published in New York City....
He served as Director of Eshkol Research Institute (1971–74); Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences (1974–76); Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1976–77); and Director of the Institute for European Studies at the Hebrew University (1997–2002).
Avineri has had numerous visiting appointments including Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...
, Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...
, Australian National University
The Australian National University is a teaching and research university located in the Australian capital, Canberra.As of 2009, the ANU employs 3,945 administrative staff who teach approximately 10,000 undergraduates, and 7,500 postgraduate students...
, Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...
, University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...
, Queen's College
Queen's College, Queens' College or Queens College is the name of more than one institution, typically in the United Kingdom or its former colonies and dependencies.Most widely known Queens Colleges:...
, Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....
, Cardozo School of Law, and Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...
and, most recently, the University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...
He has been a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Brookings Institute in Washington, DC, and at the Institute of World Economics and International Relations in Moscow.
He is currently Recurring Visiting Professor at the Central European University, in Budapest.
Avineri served as Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1975-77. He also headed the Israeli delegation to the UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...
General Assembly, and in 1979 he was a member of the joint Egyptian-Israeli commission that negotiated the Cultural and Scientific Agreement between the two countries.
Honors and awards
Avineri is the recipient of many honors and awards including:
- A British Council Scholarship (1961);
- The Rubin Prize in the Social Sciences (1968).
- The Naphtali Prize for the study of Hegel (1977).
- The Present Tense Award for the Study of Zionism (1982).
- The Israel Prize
The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is largely regarded as the state's highest honor. It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Knesset chairperson, and the...
(1996), for political science.
- In 2006, he received the Israel Political Science Association Award for his contribution to the discipline in Israel and abroad.
- He holds a Ph.D. Honoris Causa from the University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...
- In 2009, he received the Italian Solidarity Order of Merit (O.S.S.I), with the rank of "Commendatore", from Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
- In 2010 he received a Ph.D.Honoris Causa from the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot.
- The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx (1968)
- Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization (1968)
- Israel and the Palestinians (1971)
- Hegel's Theory of the Modern State (1972)
- Marx's Socialism (1973)
- Varieties of Marxism (1977)
- The Making of Modern Zionism (1981)
- Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism (1985)
- Arlosoroff: A Political Biography (1989)
- Communitarianism and Individualism (co-editor with Avner de Shalit) (1992)
- Europe's Century of Discontent (co-editor with Zeev Sternhell) (2003)
- Moses Hess: The Holy History of Mankind & Other Writings (2004)
- "Herzl - An Intellectual Biography" (2008, in Hebrew)
Besides Hebrew and English editions of his books, they have been translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Russian and Japanese.
Editor and translator
- Historical introduction to the Hebrew edition of Theodore Herzl's Diaries
- Avineri also translated Karl Marx's Early Writings into Hebrew.
- List of Israel Prize recipients