PUBLISHED:April 29, 2011

Professor Donald Horowitz to receive honorary degree

Donald L. Horowitz, the James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science, will receive an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on May 25. The honor is being awarded in appreciation of Horowitz’s “academic contributions at several prestigious universities and research institutes and for [his] achievements in research on ethnic conflicts, federalism and democratization,” wrote Professor Paul De Knop, rector of the institution.

A leading expert on the problems of divided societies and issues related to constitution building, Horowitz is currently serving as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (the Wilson Center) in Washington, D.C. Having already completed case studies on constitutional design in Northern Ireland, Fiji, Bosnia, and Cyprus, he is devoting his fellowship to the cross-national analytical portion of a book on that subject.

Horowitz’s books include The Deadly Ethnic Riot (2001), Ethnic Groups in Conflict (1985; 2d ed. 2000), and A Democratic South Africa? Constitutional Engineering in a Divided Society (1991), and he has published an extensive study of Islamic law and the theory of legal change. He recently has completed a book manuscript on how Indonesia became a constitutional democracy. He also has consulted widely on institutions and policies that might be adopted to promote democracy and reduce ethnic strife in conflict areas throughout the world.

Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993, Horowitz recently completed a three-year term as president of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy. In 2009, he was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Migration Section of the International Studies Association.

Horowitz has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and at the Central European University and a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge, at the Law Faculty of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and at Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia. In 2001, he was Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and in 2001-02, he was a Carnegie Scholar. In 2011-12 he will be a Jennings-Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Past recipients of honorary degrees from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel have included Willy Brandt, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Vaclav Havel, and Nelson Mandela.