Benjamin Berger

Ben Berger
  • Discipline: Political Theory
  • Organization: Swarthmore College

Ben Berger received his A.B. from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he worked with Harvey Mansfield, Michael Sandel, and Peter Berkowitz. He is now associate professor of political science at Swarthmore College, where he serves as co-faculty director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership.  Berger specializes in modern political theory, with particular emphases on civil society and the works of Alexis de Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt.  His book, Attention Deficit Democracy: the paradox of civic engagement—published by Princeton University Press—won the NASSP (North American Society for Social Philosophy) Book Award for the best social philosophy book published in 2011.  It was also named one of the Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2011 by Zocalo Public Square, a California think tank.  Berger has written for a variety of political science journals as well as for The National Review.  He is a frequent guest on the nationally syndicated NPR program “Radio Times.”  Current research interests include the role of moral engagement and disengagement in civil society—a subject that straddles the boundaries of political theory and cognitive neuroscience— and the affinities between Alexis de Tocqueville and Friedrich Hayek.  He has been teaching at IHS seminars since 2007.