University of Pittsburgh
June 19, 2003

Professional Society Names Pitt's Brustein Section Chair for 2003-2004


PITTSBURGH—William I. Brustein, director of the University Center for International Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, has been voted chair-elect of the Rationality and Society section of the American Sociological Association (ASA) for 2003-2004.

Founded in 1905, ASA is a nonprofit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. With approximately 13,000 members, ASA encompasses sociologists who are college and university faculty members, researchers, practitioners, and students. Approximately 20 percent of the members work in government, business, or nonprofit organizations.

The Rationality and Society section encourages and enhances research and teaching about the uses and limits of rational choice theory in sociology. The section seeks to promote communication, collaboration, and consultation among scholars in sociology and in allied social science disciplines.

Brustein, also a sociologist on the faculty in the Department of Sociology within Pitt's Faculty of Arts and Sciences, is recognized internationally for his scholarly work. His publications include two distinct works connected by the thread of anti-Semitism in Europe prior to World War II. One book, "The Logic of Evil: The Social Origins of the Nazi Party, 1925-1933" (Yale University Press, 1996), explores the reasons why many Germans so willingly joined the Nazi Party during its early years of power; the other, "Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe Before the Holocaust" (Cambridge University Press), scheduled to be published this fall, examines anti-Semitism throughout Europe prior to the Holocaust.

Brustein earned the bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Connecticut, the master's degree in sociology at the University of Washington, the master's degree in international studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Ph.D. degree in sociology at the University of Washington.