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Prof. Peter Baehr  
Research Professor in Social Theory
BSocSc, PhD(Leicester); CertEd (Manchester)
  Office: WYL209, Dorothy Y L Wong Building
Department of Sociology and Social Policy
Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
  TEL: (852) 2616 7185
  FAX: (852) 2456 0737


Professor Peter Baehr's CV

Profile Summary

Peter Baehr is Research Professor in Social Theory at Lingnan University. Before coming to Hong Kong in 2000, he taught at universities in Canada and Britain. He teaches and writes mainly in the areas of social and political thought. Peter Baehr’s work has been translated into ten languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Japanese, and Russian. Baehr is an advisor and consultant to Oxford University Press’s Digital Research initiative.

Current Research | Top

  • Dictatorship
  • History of the Concept of “Unmasking” since the French Revolution
  • The Political Liberalism of Rebecca West

Publications | Top

Books Authored, Edited, and Co-Edited

The Penguin Book of Dictators. New York: Penguin. (In progress). Editor.

The Unmasking Style in Social Theory. London/New York: Routledge, 2019, pp. 178. Author.

The Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt. London/New York: Anthem. 2017, pp. 274. Published in Chinese by Peking University Press. Co-editor (with Philip Walsh) and contributor.

Founders, Classics, Canons: Modern Disputes over the Origins and Appraisal of Sociology's Heritage. New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction. 2nd, paperback edition with a Preface by Steven Lukes and Critical Essays by Adomas Puras, William Outhwaite, and Philip Walsh, 2016 (orig. 2002), pp. 310. Author.

Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism and the Social Sciences. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010, pp. 248. Author.

Caesarism, Charisma, and Fate. Historical Sources and Modern Resonances in the Work of Max Weber.New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction, 2008, pp. 243. Author.

Dictatorship in History and Theory: Bonapartism, Caesarism, Totalitarianism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 308. Co-editor (with Melvin Richter) and contributor.

The Portable Hannah Arendt. New York: Penguin, 2000; 2nd ed. 2003, pp. 576 + lxii. Editor.

The Protestant Ethic and the” Spirit” of Capitalism and Other Writings. New York: Penguin, 2002, pp. 392. Nominated for the Wolff (Translation) Prize. Co-editor/translator (with Gordon C. Wells).

Caesar and The Fading of the Roman World. Author. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction, 1998, pp. 359. A Choice “Outstanding Academic Book of 1998.” Author.

Max Weber: The Russian Revolutions. Cornell University Press, 1995, pp. 287. Co-editor/translator (with Gordon C. Wells).

Academic Articles and Book Chapters

“Are ‘They’ Us? The Intellectuals’ Responsibility in Creating Division,” HA: The Journal of the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities, Vol. 8, 2021: 66-72.

“Dictatorship and Responsibility in Hong Kong,” Quillette, February 1st, 2021,

“The Intelligent Liberalism of Rebecca West,” New English Review,February2021,

“The Battle for Hong Kong,” The Claremont Review of Books, XXI (1) Winter 2020/21: 67-70.

 “Communist Mystic: Whittaker Chambers through the Eyes of Rebecca West,” National Review April 29, LXXII (7) 2020: 42-45,

 “Defending HUAC: Rebecca West and American Liberalism,” Times Literary Supplement, May 22, No. 6112, 2020: 14-15,

“Liberals on Trial: Rebecca West and Alistair Cooke,” The New Criterion, November, 2020, 29 (3): 22-27,

“Education: Arendt Against the Politicization of the University,” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Hannah Arendt, eds. Peter Gratton and Yasemin Sari. London: Bloomsbury, 2020, pp. 565-575.

“Of Decency and Heroism in a Time of Plague,” Mercatornet 2020,

“The Arrest of Sociology,International Sociology (review essay of Colin Campbell’s Has Sociology Progressed? 35 (2) 2020: 123-137.

“Out of Frankfurt: Response to Critics of The Unmasking Style in Social Theory,The American Sociologist 51 (1) 2020:63-75.

“The Image of the Veil in Social Theory,” Theory and Society 48 (4) 2019: 535-558.

“Unmasking Religion: Marx’s Stance, Tocqueville’s Alternative,” The Anthem Companion to Alexis de Tocqueville, edited by Daniel Gordon. London/New York: Anthem (2019), pp. 21-42.

“The Unsafe Feminist: Rebecca West and the ‘Bitter Rapture’ of Truth, Quillette, 3 December, 2018,

“Paradoxes of Diversity” (with Daniel Gordon), Sage Handbook of Political Sociology, eds. William Outhwaite and Stephen Turner. New York: Sage, 2017: 977-998.

“Movement, Formation, Maintenance: Totalitarian Variations in the Soviet Union.” Pp. 19-52 in Totalitarian Societies and Democratic Transition (eds. Tomasso Piffer and V.M. Zubok). Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2017.

“The Theory of Totalitarian Leadership,” in The Anthem Companion to Hannah Arendt. Editor and contributor. London/New York: Anthem, 2016, pp. 221-248.

Entries on “Community of Fate,” “Debunking,” “Grey Zone,” “Phobic Social Language,” and “Social Closure” in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition (ed. George Ritzer). Oxford: Wiley, 2016.

“Foreword” to Donald Levine, Dialogical Social Theory, New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction, 2016: iii-iv.

“Stalinism in Retrospect,” History and Theory 54 (3) 2015: 353-366.

“American Sociology and the Limits of Partisan Expertise,” The American Sociologist, 46 (1) 2015: 40-50.

“British Sociology and Raymond Aron,” in Sociological Amnesia: Cross Currents in Disciplinary History (eds. Alexander Law and Eric Royal Lybeck). London/New York: Routledge, 2015, pp. 7-36. 

“Totalitarianism in America? Robert Nisbet on the ‘Wilson War State’ and Beyond,” The American Sociologist 45 (1), 2014: 84-102.

“The Informers: Hannah Arendt’s Appraisal of Whittaker Chambers and the Ex-Communists,” European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 1 (1) 2014: 35-66.

“The Honored Outsider. Raymond Aron as Sociologist,” Sociological Theory 31 (2) 2013: 93-115.

“The Undoing of Humanism,” Society 50 (4) 2013: 379-390.

“The Problem of Unmasking in Ideology and Utopia,” Sociologica: Italian Journal of Sociology On-Line,1/2013: 1-32.

“Unmasking and Disclosure: Contrasting Modes for Understanding Religious and Other Beliefs” (with Daniel Gordon), Journal of Sociology 48 (4) 2012: 380-396.

Debating Totalitarianism: An Exchange of Letters between Eric Voegelin and Hannah Arendt” (with Gordon C. Wells), History and Theory 51 (3), 2012: 364-380.

“On the Edge of Solidarity,”(with Daniel Gordon) Society 49 (5) 2012: 457-467.

“Imagining Sociological Theory,” Canadian Journal of Sociology 36 (2) 2011: 213-218 (review essay).

“Marxism and Islamism. Intellectual Conformity in Raymond Aron’s Time and Our Own,” Journal of Classical Sociology 11 (2) 2011: 173-90.

“L’ideologia totalitaria: interpretazioni a confronto,” in Societ√† totalitarie e transizione all demcrozia (eds. Tomasso Piffer and Vladislav Zubok.) Bologna: Il Mulino, 2011, pp. 73-105.

“Purity and Danger in the Modern University,” Society 48 (4) 2011: 297-300.

“China the Anomaly. Hannah Arendt, Totalitarianism, and the PRC,” European Journal of Political Theory 9 (3) 2010: 267-286.

“Leon Botstein on Hannah Arendt and Max Weber: An Interview,” Max Weber Studies 10 (1) 2010: 95-100.

Reviews and Miscellany (since 2010)

“China and Hong Kong,” Peace Magazine, October-December 2020, p. 10.

“The Intelligent Liberalism of Rebecca West.” A lecture at Wellesley College, January 2020,

“Hong Kong Must Now Rely on its Own Efforts to Protect Academic Freedom,” Hong Kong Free Press, 2 June 2020,

“A Letter from Hong Kong,” , Quillette, 3 September 2019,

America is not becoming a Fascist State” a talk at UMass Amherst, October 2017,

Review of Andreas Hess, “The Political Theory of Judith N. Shklar,” Society 53 (1) 2016: 100-102.

Review of Melvin Richter et al, “Why Concepts Matter. Translating Social and Political Thought,” European Legacy 18 (4) 2013: 77-81.

Review of Pierre Birnbaum, “The Geography of Hope,” Canadian Journal of Sociology. 35 (1) 2010: 159-161.

Teaching Subjects | Top

Academic Year:  2020 - 2021:
1st Term : SOC3201 Classical Sociological Theory
2nd Term: SOC3202 Comtemporary Sociological Theory
  CLE9005 Reading Great Social Thinkers



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