M. Anne Sa'adah
Joel Parker Professor of Law and Political Science
A.B., Social Studies, Harvard University
Ph.D., Political Science, Harvard University
"My reasons for wanting to be a political scientist are captured in the otherwise not very catchy title I gave my doctoral dissertation: "Conflict and Community? The Shaping of Liberal Politics in Revolutionary France, England, and America." I am interested in when, why, and how human communities—political movements, universities, countries—come to organize themselves in ways that maximize both productive conflict and inclusiveness. I am therefore particularly interested in what happens when societies face moments of deep and disorienting change, moments when democratic politics is a possibility, but sometimes only one possibility among others and in any case capable of taking a variety of forms (some more conflict-friendly and inclusionary than others): the revolutionary periods in England, America, and France, Reconstruction in the United States, and postwar and post-unification Germany (see "Germany’s Second Chance: Trust, Justice, and Democratization"). When, why, and how do democrats win? When do reformists, rather than revolutionaries or reactionaries, manage to prevail? For someone with my interests, modern France, with its multiple fractures, its vibrant nationalism, and its contested liberal tradition, has always seemed a goldmine—quite apart from the more obvious pleasures that derive from doing research there. My most recent book, "Contemporary France: A Democratic Education" uses modern French politics to analyze the recurrent challenges that attend the political project of combining conflict and community."
- Contemporary France: A Democratic Education. Boulder, CO: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003; xi, 340 pp.
- Germany's Second Chance: Trust, Justice, and Democratization. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998; xii, 343 pp.
Recent articles and book chapters
- "Reflections on Democracy: The Beginning of the End or the end of the Beginning?" Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 35, Issue 2: 249-263, Fall 2004.
- "Hope, Disappointment, and Self-Restraint: Reflections on the Democratic Experiment," in Theodore Rabb and Ezra Suleiman, eds., The Making and Unmaking of Democracy: Lessons from History and World Politics, New York: Routledge, pp. 66-88, 2003.
- "Ein Staatsmann mit Geschichte': Joschka Fischer's German Past," German Politics and Society, Vol. 19, No. 3: 56-79, Fall 2001.
- "Power in Helmut Kohl's Republic: The Two Faces of German Democracy," German Politics and Society, Vol. 18, No. 2: 91-109, Summer 2000.
- "The Headaches and Heartaches of Globalization: A Review of Oskar Lafontaine's Das Herz schlägt links," German Politics and Society, Vol. 18, No. 1: 122-131, Spring 2000.
- European politics
- Political development and democratization
- Democratic theory
- Religion and political development