Frederick Weil
Research on Democracy and Antisemitism


Research on Democracy and Antisemitism (up to the 1990s).

In the first part of my career, I focused on questions of democracy, as well as Antisemitism. I remain interested in these questions, but I have not actively conducted research in these areas since the 1990s.

I was especially interested in twentieth century Germany, which I felt was the most important test case. After World War I, Germany seemed to be consolidating a liberal democratic regime, but it collapsed with the rise of Nazism. After World War II, the western portion of Germany made a second attempt to establish liberal democracy, and this succeeded. And after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of eastern and western Germany, liberal democracy has been established throughout the unified German state. Of course, there have been problems along the way, and there are lessons to be learned in the course of these transitions and consolidations. I conducted empirical and theoretical research on these processes, using historical and contemporary survey data as well as institutional and historical factors.

I expanded this research on democracy to include other European countries that transitioned to democracy after World War II (Germany, Austria, Italy), after the 1970s (Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey), and after the collapse of the Soviet Union after 1989 (Eastern Europe). I also learned about transitions and failed transitions in other parts of the world, but did not attempt to conduct active research on those areas.

Along with my interest in democratization, I was interested in the question of Antisemitism - prejudice and discrimination against Jews. I read widely in Jewish history and analyzed survey data on Antisemitism, mainly after World War II and the Holocaust. My historical research covered ancient times and then mainly Western societies; and my empirical research using survey data covered the United States and Western Europe.

Since the 1990s, I have not done much active research in these areas, but they have provided a foundation for my work in community sociology. As I understand it, community provides a lens for understanding how democracy and intergroup relations actually work on the ground. And notably, Tocqueville provides a theoretical foundation for understanding all of them.

Here are some of my publications and unpublished manuscripts in these areas, up to the 1990s:

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Diffusion, Nostalgia, and Performance: Democratic Legitimation in Unified Germany" (a version given at a conference at Frankfurt-Oder, Germany, May, 26th - 28th 2000) here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Political Culture, Political Structure and Democracy: The Case of Legitimation and Opposition Structure." Research on Democracy and Society, Vol. 2, 1994 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Cohorts and the Transition to Democracy in Germany after 1945 and 1989." In Henk Becker and Piet Hermkens, eds., Solidarity of Generations? Thesis Publishers, Amsterdam, 1994 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "The Development of Democratic Attitudes in Eastern and Western Germany in a Comparative Perspective." Research on Democracy and Society, Vol. 1, 1993 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Structural Determinants of Political Tolerance In Germany," Research on Political Sociology 1991 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Survey Findings on Antisemitism: A Four-National Comparison" (An English translation of: "Umfragen zum Antisemitismus: Ein Vergleich zwischen vier Nationen"), in Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb, eds., Antisemitismus in der politischen Kultur nach 1945 (Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1990), pp. 131-178. - here. ...In German here.

  • Frederick D. Weil. "The Sources and Structure of Legitimation in Western Democracies: A Consolidated Model Tested with Time-Series Data in Six Countries since World War II," American Sociological Review 1989 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Cohorts, Regimes, and the Legitimation of Democracy: West Germany since 1945," American Sociological Review 1987 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "The Extent and Structure of Antisemitism in Western Populations Since the Holocaust." Pp. 164-89 in Helen Fein, ed., The Persisting Question: Sociological Perspectives and Social Contexts of Modern Antisemitism, 1987 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "The Variable Effects of Education on Liberal Attitudes: A Comparative-Historical Analysis of Antisemitism using Public Opinion Survey Data," American Sociological Review 1985 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Tolerance of Free Speech in the United States and West Germany, 1970-79: An Analysis of Public Opinion Survey Data," Social Forces, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Jun., 1982), pp. 973-992 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "The Imperfectly Mastered Past: Antisemitism in West Germany Since the Holocaust." New German Critique 20:135 153, 1980 - here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Antisemitism in the Context of Intergroup Relations: A Comparative-Historical View" (A 1983 draft [unfinished] for a large research project.  Includes a summary, a 1983 paper delivered at the Annual Meetings of the American Sociological Association) here

  • Frederick D. Weil. "Post-Fascist Liberalism: The Development of Political Tolerance in West Germany since World War II" (My 1981 dissertation) here

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are Copyright © 1998-2023 by Frederick Weil; all rights reserved.