Andrei Markovits is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and the Karl W. Deutsch Collegiate Professor of Comparative Politics and German Studies in the Department of Political Science and the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is also Professor of Sociology in its Department of Sociology.
Markovits was born in October 1948 in the west Romanian town of Timisoara. He was raised as the single child of a middle class Jewish family, speaking German and Hungarian at home. In school he learned Romanian, and from his early childhood he was tutored in English -- later in French as well. Thus, his multilingual identity dates back to his childhood as well as the polyglot part of the world where he grew up. At the age of nine, he and his father emigrated from Romania, first to Vienna and then to New York, the two cities that would play the most important roles in his upbringing. Between 1959 and 1967, he spent the school year -- September through June -- in Vienna; and the summer months in New York. After being graduated from Vienna's Theresianische Akademie with a Matura degree (the Austrian equiavalent of the German Abitur) -- he enrolled at Columbia University in New York where he completed all of his post-secondary education, acquiring five degrees in the process. He studied political science, economics, sociology, and business administration. After receiving his doctorate in political science in 1976, he went to the Center for European Studies at Harvard University of which he would remain an active member and a Research Associate until June 30, 1999. At the Harvard Center, Markovits chaired for many years the study group on German Politics as well as one entitled "The Jews in Modern Europe." He founded the quarterly journal German Politics and Society in 1983 which in the meantime has become the foremost scholarly journal on modern German politics in the United States. He participated in many of the Center's activities and became one of that institution's mainstays over the years. In turn, the Center's uniquely rich intellectual atmosphere and immensely creative interdisciplinarity have had a major hand in forming Markovits's scholarly life.
Between 1977 and 1983, Markovits was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Thereafter, he joined the faculty at Boston University where he was Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science from 1983 until 1992. He then became Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz where he was Chair of that Department between 1992 and 1995. He remained a member of the UCSC faculty until joining the University of Michigan on September 1, 1999. A specialist on the politics of Western and Central Europe -- Germany and Austria in particular -- Markovits has published nineteen books and edited volumes; well over 100 scholarly articles; more than 50 review essays; and many articles and interviews in the American and European press. He has been invited to deliver more than 400 lectures at academic conferences, universities and other scholarly settings in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. His publications have appeared in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew and Korean.
Markovits has been awarded many fellowships, scholarships and research grants. He has held academic appointments at a number of universities overseas. Among them have been in Germany: Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Dortmund University, Osnabrueck University and Bochum University; in Austria: Webster University Vienna Campus, Innsbruck University where he was Fulbright Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Vienna University where he was Sir Peter Ustinov Professor of the City of Vienna in the Department of Contemporary History; in Switzerland St. Gallen University; and in Israel: The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. He spent the academic year 1998/1999 as a Fellow at the prestigious Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin -- Institute for Advanced Study Berlin. Markovits was Visiting Professor of Social Studies at Harvard University during the academic year 2002/2003. In the academic year 2008-2009, Markovits completed a fellowship at the renown Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.
Markovits's topics of interest and areas of publication include: German and European labor; German and European social democracy, as well as social movements; German-Jewish relations; Germany's role in the new Europe; Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism in Europe; and the comparative sociology of modern sports cultures. Most recently, Markovits has commenced a research project on the massively changed relationship between humans and pets, dogs in particular, that has emerged in the wake of the "greening" discourse of public life in all advanced industrial societies. In particular, Markovits focuses on the featured role of women as agents of this changed discourse.
Markovits has won a number of teaching awards at the institutions with which he was affiliated during his academic career. At the University of California, Santa Cruz, he was awarded the "Excellence in Teaching Award" in 1997, distinguishing him as the best teacher on campus that year. At the University of Michigan, he was bestowed the Tronstein Award in 2007 for being the best teacher in the Department of Political Science and the Golden Apple Award for being the best instructor on the University of Michigan's Ann Arbor campus. Markovits has advised doctoral dissertations at many major American universities, as well as universities in Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Switzerland, Canada and Israel. On July 4, 2007, Markovits was awarded a Dr. phil. honoris causa -- an honorary doctorate -- by the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Leuphana University Lueneburg in Lueneburg, Germany.
On March 14, 2012, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany bestowed on Markovits at the Federal Republic's Consulate General in Chicago the BUNDESVERDIENSTKREUZ ERSTER KLASSE, the Federal Cross of the Order of Merit, one of THE highest awards and distinctions that the Federal Republic of Germany awards Germans or foreigners.
Markovits loves all sports with a clear preference for the team sports of basketball, baseball, football as well as soccer. He also enjoys all kinds of music with a special penchant for Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak and the Grateful Dead whom -- in his youth and on rare occasions -- he would follow on tour on both coasts of the United States. In addition to being a DEADHEAD, Markovits greatly enjoys the company of golden retrievers who have been his constant companions for three decades. He lives with his wife Kiki in Ann Arbor, MI.