Expertise: Political sociology, trade union organization, social stratification, public opinion, sociology of intellectual life, conditions for democracy in comparative perspective
Seymour Martin Lipset is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Hazel Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. Previously he was the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University (1975–90) and the George D. Markham Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University.
His major work is in the fields of political sociology, trade union organization, social stratification, public opinion, and the sociology of intellectual life. He has also written extensively about the conditions for democracy in comparative perspective.
His most recent publications are American Exceptionalism: A Double-Edged Sword (W.W. Norton, 1996) and Continental Divide: The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada (Routledge, 1990), and with Earl Raab Jews and the New American Scene (Harvard University press, 1996).
Lipset received the MacIver Prize for Political Man and the Gunnar Myrdal Prize for The Politics of Unreason. His book The First New Nation was a finalist for the National Book Award. He was also awarded the Townsend Harris and Margaret Byrd Dawson Medals for significant achievement, the Northern Telecom-International Council for Canadian Studies Gold Medal, and the Leon Epstein Prize in Comparative Politics by the American Political Science Association. He has received the Marshall Sklare Award for distinction in Jewish studies. In 1997, he was awarded the Helen Dinnerman Prize by the World Association for Public Opinion Research.
Lipset has been elected to various honorific societies in the United States and abroad: the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Education, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in which he served as vice president for the social sciences.
He is the only person to have been president of both the American Sociological Association (1992–93) and the American Political Science Association (1979–80). He has also served as the president of the International Society of Political Psychology, the Sociological Research Association, the World Association for Public Opinion Research, and the Society for Comparative Research. He is currently the president of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Society in Vienna.
He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and monographs. Translations of some of these have appeared in eighteen languages. In addition, he has edited twenty-four books and published more than four hundred articles.
Lipset is also active in public affairs on a national level. He is currently a director of the United States Institute of Peace. He has been a member of the U.S. Board of Foreign Scholarships, cochair of the Committee for Labor Law Reform, cochair of the Committee for an Effective UNESCO, and consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Humanities Institute, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the American Jewish Committee.
He has been president of the American Professors for Peace in the Middle East, chair of the National B'nai B'rith Hillel Commission and the Faculty Advisory Cabinet of the United Jewish Appeal, and cochair of the Executive Committee of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East.