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James Mittelman

University Professor Emeritus School of International Service

James Mittelman is Distinguished Scholar in Residence and University Professor Emeritus. His work focuses on globalization, development, and political economy, with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia. Previously, he was Professor and Dean at Queens College of the City University of New York, Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of International Studies (today the Korbel School) at the University of Denver, Director of the Social Science Foundation, and the Pok Rafeah Chair at the National University of Malaysia. Mittelman has been on the faculty at Cornell and Columbia universities, and was a Member at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. He also held teaching and research appointments in Japan, Uganda, Mozambique, and South Africa. The recipient of the International Studies Association's 2010 Distinguished Scholar award in International Political Economy, he is an Honorary Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. Mittelman’s books include The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance (Princeton University Press) and Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity (Stanford University Press). His op-eds and letters to the editor appear in the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and elsewhere. Mittelman has worked at the United Nations and with civil society organizations. His next book is Universities and International Relations: Repurposing Higher Education (under contract, Princeton University Press).
Languages Spoken
Kiswahili (good working knowledge), French (reading proficiency)

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Contact Info
(202) 885-1643 (Office)

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For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Professor Mittelman specializes in global political economy (with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia), globalization, global governance, international relations theory, and development.

Selected Publications

  • Political Critiques and Social Theories of the Global, coeditor, Sage, 2014.
  • Contesting Global Order: Development, Globalization, and Global Governance. London and New York: Routledge, 2011.
  • Hyperconflict: Globalization and Insecurity, Stanford University Press, 2010 (winner of the 2010 Outstanding Academic Title Award, sponsored by Choice).
  • Whither Globalization? The Vortex of Knowledge and Ideology, Routledge, 2004. Japanese translation.
  • Capturing Globalization, coeditor, Routledge, 2001 (awarded the Gold Medal as the best book in the social sciences at the National University of Malaysia).
  • The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance, Princeton University Press, 2000. Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish translations.
  • Out from Underdevelopment Revisited: Changing Global Structures and the Remaking of the Third World, coauthor, Macmillan and St. Martin's, 1997.
  • Innovation and Transformation in International Studies, coeditor, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Globalization: Critical Reflections, editor, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996.
  • Out from Underdevelopment: Prospects for the Third World, Macmillan and St. Martin's, 1988; 2nd edition.
  • Underdevelopment and the Transition to Socialism: Mozambique and Tanzania, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/Academic Press, 1981.
  • Ideology and Politics in Uganda: From  Obote to Amin, Cornell University Press, 1975.

Professional Presentations

  • China Foreign Affairs University (Beijing)
  • The Claremont Colleges Harvey Botwin Lecture in Political Economy
  • Economic and Social Research Foundation Annual Globalization Lecture (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • Fudan University (Shanghai)                   
  • National University of Malaysia Pok Rafeah Chair Inaugural Lecture                   
  • Nordic Africa Institute (Uppsala, Sweden)                   
  • Pontifica Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Finnish Political Science Assocation, keynote address, annual convention
  • University of the Witwatersrand Richard Feetham Memorial Lecture on Academic Freedom (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Executive Experience

  • Vice President, International Studies Association, 2006-2007   
  • Founding Chair of Comparative and Regional Studies, American University, 1992-1994  
  • Dean, Division of Social Sciences, Queens College of the City University of New York, 1987-1991   
  • Dean, Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, 1983-1987   
  • Director, Social Science Foundation, University of Denver, 1983-1987   
  • Founding Director, International Studies Program, The City College of the City University of New York, 1981-1983   
  • Associate Director, Liberal Arts, Pre-Professional Programs and Public Policy (an interdisciplinary program in ethics and public policy), The City College of the City University of New York, 1980-81


Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Honorary Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, since 2011
  • Distinguished Scholar, award in International Political Economy, International Studies Association, 2010
  • University Professor of International Affairs, American University, 2007-2015
  • American University Faculty Award, Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions, 2005
  • American University School of International Service Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research, and Other Professional Contributions, 2004-2005, 1999-2000, and 1996-1997
  • Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1998-1999
  • Pok Rafeah Chair in International Studies and Distinguished Visiting Professor, National University of Malaysia, 1997-1998


Grants and Sponsored Research

  • American Political Science Association, 2004    
  • United Nations University, 1996-1997, 1994, 1993, 1992   
  • International Studies Association, 1994, 1993   
  • World Policy Institute, 1982-1983 and 1981-1982   
  • Social Science Research Council, 1998   
  • Columbia University Center for Research in the Social Sciences, 1979   
  • John Parker Compton Foundation, 1977-1978   
  • Institute for the Study of World Politics, 1975-1976   
  • National Science Foundation, 1973   
  • American Council for Learned Societies, 1973

Media Appearances

  • CBS Television and Radio
  • New York Times 
  • Washington Post
  • Helsingin Sanomat (Helsinki, Finland) 
  • Denver Post
  • San Francisco Chronicle 
  • Detroit News
  • The Nation
  • National Public Radio
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation  
  • United Nations Radio

Work In Progress

  • Universities and International Relations: Repurposing Higher Education, (under contract, Princeton University Press).

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Globalization, international development, international organization, African politics

Additional Information: James Mittelman is the author or editor of several volumes on African politics, development, and globalization, including The Globalization Syndrome: Transformation and Resistance (Princeton University Press, 2000). His newest book is Contesting Global Order: Development, Global Governance, and Globalization (Routledge, 2011). His writings are in nine languages. After studying in Uganda, he lived and worked in Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa. Later, Mittelman held the Pok Rafeah Chair at the National University of Malaysia, where he served as distinguished visiting professor, and taught in Japan. Mittelman has had resident fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, where he is now an honorary fellow. He has also worked for United Nations agencies and has been interviewed on many radio and TV programs, including CBS News, National Public Radio, BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and United Nations Radio. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, as well as in other newspapers and magazines.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.

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