John C Torpey

Visiting Professor of Sociology

PhD, 1992, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
MA, 1987, Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
BA, 1981, Political Science, Amherst College


John Torpey is Presidential Professor of Sociology and History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and (from January 2014) Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center.  Among other honors, he was president of the Eastern Sociological Society in 2016-2017.  He grew up in South Jersey, mainly in the town about which Herbert Gans wrote the classic study The Levittowners -- possibly predisposing him to becoming a sociologist.

Selected Publications

Intellectuals, Socialism, and Dissent: The East German Opposition and its Legacy (1995)

The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship, and the State (2000; second edition 2018)

Documenting Individual Identity: The Development of State Practices in the Modern World (edited with Jane Caplan, 2001)

Politics and the Past: On Repairing Historical Injustices (ed., 2004)

Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe: Transatlantic Relations after the Iraq War (edited with Daniel Levy and Max Pensky, 2005)

Making Whole What Has Been Smashed: On Reparations Politics (2006)

The Post-Secular in Question (edited with Philip S. Gorski, S. Gorski, David Kyuman Kim, and Jonathan van Antwerpen, 2012)

Legal Integration of Islam: A Transatlantic Comparison (with Christian Joppke, 2013)

Transformations of Warfare in the Contemporary World (edited with David Jacobson, 2016)

The Three Axial Ages: Moral, Material, Mental (Rutgers University Press, 2017).