Aronoff, Myron

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Myron Aronoff
Professor Emeritus of Political Anthropology, Politics and Culture, Anthropology of Complex Societies, Collective Identities; Israel and Middle East
Email Address: mjaronoff@gmail.com

Myron (Mike) Aronoff has devoted his professional career to building conceptual and methodological bridges between political science and anthropology.  The core concept that frames most of his work is legitimacy, i.e., the processes through which relationships of power are transformed into relationships of authority and, conversely, processes through which authority is challenged and undermined. Distinguished Professor Aronoff authored the entry for political culture in the International Encyclopedia of Behavioral and Social Sciences (2002) and conceptualizes it as being contested, contingent, and highly contextual. All of his research and teaching explore various aspects of the relationship between culture and politics.

Interest in how fiction can afford insights into political processes that are difficult for researchers to observe first hand resulted in the writing of The Spy Novels of John le Carre: Balancing Ethics & Politics (1999, 2001). This work explores liberal temperament, issues of moral ambiguity, the role of skepticism in balancing excessive optimism and pessimism, weighing ends against means—exploring the limits of raison d’état, human nature, bureaucratic politics (domestic and international), the culture and craft of espionage, and how art imitates life and life imitates fiction in the real world of espionage. The main theme is that balancing ethical and political imperatives requires learning to live with ambiguity.

Distinguished Professor Aronoff has been awarded the First Israel Institute/Association for Israel Studies Lifetime Achievement Award honoring a lifetime of exceptional scholarship and academic achievement in the field of Israel Studies. The award recognizes a senior scholar whose lasting and path-breaking contributions have significantly shaped the field. (June 2013)

Distinguished Professor Aronoff earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from UCLA, his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Manchester University (UK), and his B.A. in Government from Miami University.

Faculty News

"Orthodox Female Clergy Embodying Religious Authority" article by Assistant Professor, Michal Raucher, is published in the Fall 2019 AJS Perspectives. Read article or check out magazine

Tartakoff CoverDepartment Chair and Associate Professor, Paola Tartakoff's new book, Conversion, Circumcision, and Ritual Murder in Medieval Europe, is now available. - Order now

Professor Nancy Sinkoff's book, From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History, is mentioned in Tablet Magazine. - Read article

Assistant Professor, Michal Raucher, receives AJS Women’s Caucus Cashmere Subvention Award for her book project Birthing Jewish Ethics: Reproduction and Ethics Amon Haredi Women in Jerusalem. This is the first time such additional awards have been given that recognize significant achievement and important scholarship.

Nancy Sinkoff's 2018 volume of Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin, has been awarded the 2019 Book Prize from the Jewish Studies and Music Study Group of the American Musicological Society. - Rutgers, The Current

Assistant Professor, Michal Raucher, received a grant to attend the Teaching with Impact Workshop hosted by the Israel Institute this coming January - Read more

Review of Nancy Sinkoff's book, Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin -  Read review

Azzan Yadin-Israel writes review in the Marginalia Review of Books, "St. Augustine's Jews and the Undeserving Poor" - Read now

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