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Robert Abzug, Director CLA 2.402, 305 E 23rd St B3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-475-6178

Faculty & Graduate Students

***UPDATE***

The Israel Studies Collaborative has moved! Come visit our new home at www.israelstudiescollaborative.org.


Oren Bracha

Howrey LLP and Arnold, White & Durkee Centennial Professor (Law School)

Oren is a legal historian and an intellectual property law scholar. His dissertation "Owning Ideas" is a comprehensive intellectual history of Anglo-American intellectual property law. Bracha was a law clerk for Chief Justice Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. Prior to coming to UT he worked on several teaching and research projects for the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. His fields of interest include intellectual property, cyberlaw, legal history and legal theory.

Gary Jacobsohn

H. Malcolm Macdonald Professor in Constitutional & Comparative Law (Government)

Gary’s interests and work lie at the intersection of constitutional theory and comparative constitutionalism. He has held fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, the Fulbright Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a past President of the New England Political Science Association, and has served as co-editor of the Rowman and Littlefield series on Studies in American Constitutionalism.

Ami Pedahzur

Professor (Government)

Ami’s main fields of interest are terrorism, political radicalism and Israeli politics. Since the early stages of his career he was interested in the Israeli radical right and in the State’s response to it.  Later he was drawn to studying the causes for terrorism in general and particularly in Israel. At the same time he developed interest in the effectiveness of various counterterrorism policies and subsequently in special operations forces.

Alexander Weinreb

Associate Professor (Sociology)

Alex’s primary research interests are in the relationship between group-level identities (family, clan, tribe, region, religion, nation, etc.) and a range of social and demographic outcomes. This has inevitably taken him into varied theoretical and disciplinary turf (from micro-sociological theory to political economy).  His most recent research interests are in global religious change over long historical periods, and in the sociology of Judaism. Aside from these, He also has latent interests - gradually encroaching on shelf space - in the sociology of genocide and the demography of arid lands.

Amelia Weinreb

Lecturer (Anthropology)

Amelia’s interests include post-socialist transitions, consumer emotions, emergent and hidden publics, intimacy of state-citizen relationships, open public space and landscape; Cuba, Israel.

Graduate Students

Isaac Sasson (Sociology)

Issac is broadly interested in stratification processes over the life course, with particular application in health and aging. His current work intersects theory and methodology in establishing how advantage and disadvantage unfold over time at the individual and population level. Isaac's previous work has focused on land degradation and demographic responses in sub-Saharan West Africa using remotely sensed data and georeferenced Demographic and Health Surveys. Other areas of interest include statistical methods, sociology of science, and Israeli demography.

Lior Sternfeld (History)

Lior received a Bachelor of Arts in both Middle East Studies and Jewish History, as well as a master's in Middle East Studies, from Ben Gurion University of the Negev. His thesis titled "Between Abadan and Suez: The Emergence of Mossadeghism" examines how Mossadegh's policy in Iran impacted and inspired the Egyptian society toward the anti-colonial revolution of 1952. In fall 2009 he entered the doctoral program at The University of Texas at Austin in the Department of History, working under Dr. Kamran Aghaie. His current research interests are minorities in Iran, Jewish communities in Iran and the Arab Middle East, and social movements.



Ori Swed (Sociology)

Ori is working on a project exploring Hi Tech and Military relations in the Israeli context. Another research in progress is on the dynamics of conflict between state and terror organization with emphasis on the Second Intifada. Prior to joining at the Sociology Department at University of Texas at Austin, as a PhD student, he earned an M.A. in History and a dual B.A in History and Sociology from the Hebrew University at Jerusalem.  Ori’s research area is the sociology of military, war and warfare. Specifically he is interested with military technology, sociology of intelligence, and terror and anti-terror relations. His dissertation topic is focusing on the way discourse affects and changes the way warfare is conducted, and how technology and business enterprises contribute to the adjustment of states and armies to the new conditions of war. 

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