Earth Institute Profiles

Robert Lieberman

Professor of Political Science and Public Affairs; Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

Robert Lieberman

Robert Lieberman is a professor of political science and public affairs and vice dean for academic affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His research interests include American political development, public policy, race and politics, and social welfare policy. He brings an important perspective to both his department and the Earth Institute.

A valued professor in the political science department at Columbia University, Lieberman teaches with much enthusiasm and dedication. Few courses at Columbia University attract as many students as Professor Lieberman’s course, American Politics and Social Welfare Policy. He is recognized by students as being engaging, intellectually broadening and truly committed, both inside and outside the classroom.

Lieberman has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation, and he has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. His work has appeared in numerous journals including the American Political Science Review, Studies in American Political Development, British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science History, and several edited volumes.

Lieberman’s first book, “Shifting the Color Line: Race and the American Welfare State” (Harvard University Press, 1998), explores the historical and political roots of the enduring racial conflict in American welfare policy and has won numerous prizes, including the Lionel Trilling Award for the best book by a Columbia faculty member, the Social Science History Association’s President’s Book Award, and the Thomas J. Wilson Prize from Harvard University Press.  He has also won the American Political Science Association's Leonard D. White Award for the best dissertation in the field of public administration, an award supported by the University of Chicago. Lieberman’s recent work includes co-editing “Democratization in America: The United States as a Democratizing Nation.”

Lieberman holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He brings his expertise to the Earth Institute, Columbia University, as a member of its faculty.