Christian Joppke (1985)

Executive Director / Professorship of General Sociology

Of Berkeley I will not forget the frantic first year, with drinks and cigarettes in North Beach bars and late-nights walks from Bart station on Shattuck to Grizzly Peak (home of the friendly family that provided me with a roof in the first month). I'd rather forget the following years of single-minded dissertation work, which were spent in a Spruce Street cloister (with a view). If I stayed intact, then thanks to certain Russian and Germanic authors, such as Turgenev, Musil, and Bernhard (the last time I read that sort of thing), and the occasional mental massage by Neil Smelser (without whom I'd not be able to write these lines). Two more bright Berkeley lights should be mentioned: Ricky's Star Show at Sather Gate and the Lowenthal seminar.

In 1993, I quit my job as assistant professor at the University of Southern California, and moved to the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Having failed to get tenure there (a fate that I share with famous Berkeley alumni), I'm currently on the move again from New York, where I'm writing these lines in my lush townhouse office at the Russell Sage Foundation, to Vancouver, where I will be reunited with my old mate John Torpey at the University of British Columbia.

My source of happiness are Catherine, Benjamin and Nicolas (two life-long fiorentini), who follow me around.

I forgot: intellectually I started as a Habermasian; I'm now a reactionary liberal; what will I be next?

Dissertation Title: 
The Social Struggle Over Nuclear Energy: A Comparison of West Germany and the United States of America.
Dissertation Book Title: 
Mobilizing against nuclear energy : a comparison of Germany and the United States