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Very experienced fellow

Robert Fishman

Robert Fishman

Doctorate from:

Yale University, United States

Department at UC3M:

Social Sciences


CONEX Fellow from 07/05/15 to 30/06/2019


Fishman’s CONEX project on “Dimensions of Democracy and their Determinants” focuses first on developing the conceptual and methodological “map” used by scholars to study variation in democracies, secondly on the theorization of causal mechanisms capable of accounting for variation in democracy’s dimensions and finally on an empirical component that examines differences among democracies. Building on, but also pushing beyond, existing work, the project will differentiate in clear and researchable ways between the authenticity, quality, depth and consolidation of democratic systems, arguing that these dimensions vary with considerable independence from one another.  The theoretical and empirical components of the work are historically-oriented, focusing on explanations for contrasts between democratic practice and its multiple consequences in Spain and Portugal and on a broader range of cross-national comparisons.


Before coming to the Carlos III University as a CONEX-Marie Curie Professor of Political Science and Sociology Fishman was Professor of Sociology and Kellogg Institute Fellow at the University of Notre Dame in the United States and prior to that, Associate Professor of Government and of Social Studies at Harvard University.  Fishman’s books include Democracy’s Voices (Cornell University Press, 2004), Winner of Honorable Mention for Best Book (2005) of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Political Sociology; Working-Class Organization and the Return to Democracy in Spain (Cornell, 1990) and (with Anthony Messina) The Year of the Euro (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006).   Both Democracy’s Voices and Working-Class Organization have been translated into Spanish and published by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas.   Fishman’s articles have been published in the American Sociological Review, World Politics, Politics and Society, Comparative Politics, Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas, Studies in Comparative International Development, Contributions to Political Economy and South European Society and Politics as well as The New York Times.  A 2013 article of his, co-authored with Omar Lizardo, received the Tilly Prize of the ASA Section on Comparative and Historical Sociology.


  • Robert M. Fishman, Review Article, "What Made the Third Wave Possible? Historical Contingency and Meta-Politics in the Genesis of Worldwide Democratization” in Comparative Politics, Volume 50(4):607-626, 2018.
  • Robert M. Fishman, "What 25 April Was and Why it Mattered", Portuguese Studies,  Portugal, Forty-Four Years after the Revolution, 34 (1): 20-34,2018.
  • Robert M. Fishman,  "How Civil Society Matters in Democratization: Setting the Boundaries of Post-Transition Political Inclusion", in Comparative Politics, 49(3): 391-409, 2017. 
  • Fishman, R.M & Everson, D.W.: "Mechanisms of Social Movement Success: Conversation, Displacement and Disruption", Revista Internacional de Sociología, Volume 74, October-December, 2016. 1-10.
  • Robert M. Fishman and Manuel Villaverde Cabral, "Socio-historical Foundations of Citizenship Practice: after Social Revolution in Portugal", in Theory & Society, 45 (6): 531-553.   2016.  
  • Robert M. Fishman, “Rethinking Dimensions of Democracy for Empirical Analysis: Authenticity, Quality, Depth and Consolidation”, in Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 16: 289-309. ( 2016). 
  • Robert M. Fishman, Carlos Gervasoni and Keely Jones, “Inequality and the Altruistic Life: A Study of the Priestly Vocations Rate”, in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 54(3): 575-595.  (2015). 


  • Robert M Fishman, "Democratic Practice: Origins of the Iberian Divide in Political Inclusion",  Oxford University Press, 2019


Book Chapters

  • “How the Past Shapes Struggles for Equality: Contrasting Legacies of Reform and Revolution” in Markus Schulz, (ed.), Frontiers of Global Sociology: Research Perspectives for the 21st Century, Berlin/New York: ISA Research, 2018
  • Robert M Fishman,  “Acerca das Constituiçoes e para além destas: Legados de Democratizaçao em Espanha e em Portugal Contemporaneos. “  pp. 87-102 in Marina Costa Lobo (ed.) A Constituiçao Portuguesa em Fluxo: Uma Perspectiva Comparada 1976-2016.  Lisbon: Assembleia da Republica, 2017
  • Robert M. Fishman and Suzanne M. Coshow,  “Political Sociology: A Broad and ‘Poly-centric’ Field”, The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, Kathleen Korgen, Ed., Cambridge University Press, 2017

Participation in Congresses and seminars

  • “How National Histories Shaped the Politics of Crisis: South European Contrasts”, Paper presented at the Conference of Europeanists, the Annual Meetings of the Council for European Studies, Glasgow, July 14, 2017.
  • “The Constitutions and Beyond: Legacies of Democratization in Contemporary Spain and Portugal”, Paper Presented at Conference on “The Portuguese Constitution in the Third Wave of Democratization”, Assembly of the Republic [the Portuguese Parliament], Lisbon, December 6, 2016.
  • “How Cultural Frameworks Shape the Politics of Crisis: The Iberian Divide in Inclusion”, Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, September 4, 2016.
  • “When Voices in the Streets Can(not) Change the World: Origins of the Iberian Divide in Inclusion”, Paper Presented at the Annual meetings of the American Sociological Association, Seattle, August 22, 2016. 
  • “How the Past Shapes Struggles for Equality: Contrasting Legacies of Reform and Revolution”, Presented on a Featured Speaker Panel at the International Sociological Association Forum, Vienna, July 12, 2016. 
  • “Is the State/Regime Nexus Historically Contingent and if so in What Ways?”, Paper Presented at the Workshop on “Disentangling the State-Regime Nexus”, June 15 – 17, 2016, University of Tubingen. 
  • “How National Histories Shaped the Politics of Crisis: Portugal, Spain and Greece Compared” in Santander Workshop on “Model Transitions?”, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, May 18, 2016

Other Dissemination and Communication activities:

  • Chair, Local Organizing Committee for 2019 Conference of Europeanists, Council for European Studies, to be held in Madrid, June 2019. 
  • "Preguntas para superar desencuentros", El País, June 2019.
  • Organizer of Book Workshop on Democratic Practice Draft Manuscript at Carlos III, June 5-6, 2019.
  • “Los retos actuales de la democracia española”, Conference at Pablo Olavide University, Sevilla, February 2018. 
  • Co-organizer of the mini-symposium “National histories and the politics of crisis”, with Prof. Konstantino Kornetis at the Council for European Studies conference in Glasgow in July 2017
  • Organizer of a Theme Panel on “When ‘Changing the Conversation’ Matters: Lessons from Southern Europe” for 2016 ASA meetings in Seattle. 
  • España 2016: El camino de Kennedy”, El País, February, 2016. 
  • Co-chair of Program Committee for 2015 Council for European Studies meetings held in Paris.