Andreas Wimmer is Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy at Columbia University. He was educated at the University of Zurich, from where he received a PhD in social anthropology in 1992 and a habilitation two years later. He previously served as founding director of two interdisciplinary research institutes: the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies at the University of Neuchâtel (from 1995 to 1999) and the Department of Political and Cultural Change at the Center for Development Research of the University of Bonn (from 1999 to 2002). During his tenure at the Forum for Migration Studies, he was advisor to a number of Swiss government agencies and committees. Wimmer has also worked as a consultant for international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, UNICEF, the governments of Germany and Switzerland, and various NGOs. He received the prestigious Heisenberg fellowship from the German Research Foundation, was Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College of Oxford University, a fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies Berlin, a (teaching) Visiting Professor for Ethnic Studies and Sociology at Harvard University, a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris and the Institute for Research in Humanities of Kyoto University, as well as Professor of Sociology at the Princeton University.
Andreas Wimmer's research aims to understand the dynamics of nation-state formation, ethnic boundary making and political conflict from a comparative perspective. His writings show how nation-building politicizes ethnic difference, and under which conditions various forms of exclusion and conflict along ethnic, national or racial lines result. He has pursued this theme across several disciplinary fields, focusing on examples from both the developing and the developed world, and using various methodological and analytical strategies: anthropological field research, network studies, quantitative cross-national research, a comparative historical analysis of Swiss, Iraqi, and Mexican nation-state formation, as well as policy oriented research on immigration and the prevention of ethnic conflict.
At MPI-MMG Prof Wimmer has been developed the project on conviviality and conflict.